The 7 Jobs That Are Most Damaging To Your Health

Some jobs intrinsically have more health risks than others. A nurse working in a hospital is more likely to catch an infectious disease than a lawyer working in an office, for example.

To rank the most unhealthy jobs in America, we used data from the Occupational Information Network, a US Department of Labor database full of detailed information on occupations.

In order to analyze jobs by their impact on workers’ health, we took O*NET measures of six health risks in each of the 974 occupations in the database: exposure to contaminants; exposure to disease and infection; exposure to hazardous conditions; exposure to radiation; risk of minor burns, cuts, bites, and stings; and time spent sitting, since studies show that frequent inactivity shortens your lifespan. O*NET scores these factors on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating an increased health risk.

Read on to find out which jobs have the most potential to damage your health.

Max Nisen contributed to an earlier version of this post.

7. Histotechnologists and histologic technicians
7. Histotechnologists and histologic technicians
jurvetson via flickr
Overall unhealthiness score: 59.0

What they do: Prepare histologic slides from tissue sections for microscopic examination and diagnosis by pathologists.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to hazardous conditions: 88
2. Exposure to contaminants: 76
3. Exposure to disease and infections: 75

6. Immigration and customs inspectors
6. Immigration and customs inspectors
Thomson Reuters
Overall unhealthiness score: 59.3

What they do: Investigate and inspect people, common carriers, goods, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the US or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to contaminants: 78
2. Exposure to disease and infections: 63
3. Exposure to radiation: 62
5. Podiatrists
5. Podiatrists
Heidi Jones/Getty Images
Overall unhealthiness score: 60.2

What they do: Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to disease and infections: 87
2. Exposure to radiation: 69
3. Exposure to contaminants: 67

4. Veterinarians and veterinary assistants and technicians*
4. Veterinarians and veterinary assistants and technicians*
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Overall unhealthiness score: 60.3

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What they do: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals and perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to disease and infections: 81
2. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 75
3. Exposure to contaminants: 74

* This category combines the related detailed jobs of veterinarians, veterinary assistants, and laboratory animal caretakers and veterinary technologists and technicians.
3. Anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and anesthesiologist assistants*
3. Anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and anesthesiologist assistants*
flickr/isafmedia
Overall unhealthiness score: 62.3

What they do: Administer anesthetics or sedatives during medical procedures, and help patients in recovering from anesthesia.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to disease and infections: 94
2. Exposure to contaminants: 80
3. Exposure to radiation: 74

* This category combines the related detailed jobs of anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, and anesthesiologist assistant.

2. Flight attendants
2. Flight attendants
Paul Stocker via Flickr
Overall unhealthiness score: 62.3

What they do: Provide personal services to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of airline passengers during flight. Greet passengers, verify tickets, explain use of safety equipment, and serve food or beverages.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to contaminants: 88
2. Exposure to disease and infections: 77
3. Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites, or stings: 69

1. Dentists, dental surgeons, and dental assistants*
1. Dentists, dental surgeons, and dental assistants*
mattlemmon via Compfight cc
Overall unhealthiness score: 65.4

What they do: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

Top three health risks:

1. Exposure to contaminants: 84
2. Exposure to disease and infections: 75
3. Time spent sitting: 67

* This category combines the related detailed jobs of general dentists, dental hygienists, dental laboratory technicians, dental assistants, and prosthodontists.

Source – business

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