Cops face more dangers than just guns on job
An expert has revealed that guns are not the only danger cops face on job, but anxiety, obesity, trauma, stress, toxin exposure, sleep deprivation also take a high toll.
University at Buffalo epidemiologist John Violanti, an expert on police culture, psychological stress, illness and mortality, said that police officers are exposed to danger from so many different and unexpected elements that they are dying not just on the job, but for the job.
And they are dying younger than the rest of us. A previous Violanti study found that on average, the life expectancy of police officers was significantly lower than the U.S. male population — a result, he suggested, of the exceptionally high and protracted degree of job-related stress.
In his new book, "Dying for the Job: Police Work Exposure and Health", he begins by considering the alarming number of environmental hazards to which police officers are exposed, things like clandestine methamphetamine labs, dead bodies, lead exposure from firearms, noise, radar, blood-borne pathogens, even fingerprint powder, which has produced occupational lung disease.
Violanti said that these threats are compounded by the high levels of job stress in police work which manifest as higher-than-average rates of anxiety, obesity, PTSD, high blood pressure, metabolic disorder, cardiovascular disease and suicide.
Violanti asserted that police, their families and the communities should be aware of the hidden risks of this job.
The hours are long, the pay is frequently low and a range of stressors provoke physical and psychological damage that can be severe, he explained.
(Posted on 14-04-2014)