The Risks Involved

Many occupations have an increased risk for developing lung cancer. For example, asbestos insulation workers have 92 times the risk of developing lung cancer, and smelter workers have 3-8 times the risk of developing lung cancer.

Risk Increases With Exposure To:

  • Industrial gases
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Paints
  • Inorganic pigments
  • Plastics
  • Synthetic rubber

The risk of developing lung cancer is related to the amount of exposure to the cancer-causing agent. For example, the risk of lung cancer in humans is proportional to the number of cigarettes smoked. The risk of developing lung cancer is 8-20 times greater in smokers compared to people who have never smoked. A smaller, but real, risk exists for cigar and pipe smokers. Some cancer-causing agents react together to significantly increase the risk of developing cancer. The combined exposure to asbestos and tobacco smoke clearly multiplies the risk of developing lung cancer.

Mark Lanier discusses the presence of asbestos in everyday household items.