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handling bracken - skin cancer risk?


the guy
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One of the major toxins in bracken (particularly the fronds) is ptaquiloside, which is known to be very carcinogenic.

 

Doing a lot of woodland work, I spend a lot of time handling bracken, and often end up with the juice from the fronds on the skin of my hands.

 

I'm not particularly bothered by this, but it got me wondering, does this mean I run an increased risk of getting skin cancer on my hands?

 

And, should I be more worried (and therefore take safety precautions)?

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And, should I be more worried (and therefore take safety precautions)?

 

Handling any carcinogenic material for prolonged periods of time will result in greater cancer risk. It might be worth wearing some plastic gloves that keeps the liquid off of your skin; it can absorb through the skin into the blood stream etc. just like any chemical.

 

Better safe than sorry I reckon.

 

 

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Doing a lot of woodland work,

What type of work? Does it preclude wearing heavy work gloves? I used to work with sheet metal, so I know there's some type of work where it's better/safer to wear gloves, but losing the feel for what you're doing overrides the risks.

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