Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It might not be all right on the nightshift

Financial Times:

A review of recent studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that night work disrupted the body’s circadian rhythms, inhibiting the production of melatonin, a hormone important in fighting cancer. “Shift work that involves circadian disruption is probably carcinogenic to humans,” it concluded, putting the risk at the same level as chemicals containing lead, anabolic steroids, creosote, diesel exhaust and sun lamps.

...Up to a fifth of employees in Europe and the US work shifts including nights. More than 30 per cent work at night in healthcare, manufacturing, mining, transport, communication and the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Speaking for myself, my spouse, and many of the people I know working two or three jobs: if we can't work at night because it is going to kill us, how can we afford to live through the day?

I know cancer sucks, but have you ever tried not paying your bills? Cancer at least has an end point.

Ah, the choices we are asked to make on behalf of investors. If only they were the poor: the producing class would be counted among the world's greatest philanthropists.

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