A study from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. has found those who work with disinfectants, santiziers, sterilizers and deodorizers on a regular basis may be at higher risk of thyroid cancer.
Occupational exposure to biocides were linked to a 65% higher risk of thyroid cancer. Biocides are chemicals used to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi…. pathogens that could harm humans. In hospitals, biocides are found in a variety of products for equipment, surfaces and hand washing. Although antibiotics and pesticides are also considered “biocides”, this study found pesticides to not have a link to thyroid cancer.
According to study author Dr. Yawei Zhang, “Our study did not support an association between occupational exposure to pesticides and risk of thyroid cancer, but suggested that occupational exposure to other biocides might be associated with an increased risk of thyroid cancer.”
Women appeared to be more affected than men.
Why thyroid cells would become malignant is unclear. However Triclosan, a common ingredient in hand sanitizers, has been suggested to affect thyroid hormone levels.