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This volume of the IARC Monographs provides an evaluation of the carcinogenicity of night shift work, that is, work occurring during the regular sleeping hours of the general population. Globally, an estimated one out of five workers is engaged in regular night shift work, with percentages increasing over time in some countries. Night shift work is most common in the following industry sectors: transportation (for example, aircrew and truck drivers on long-haul trips), health care, manufacturing, and services (for example, social assistance, accommodation and food services, information and communications, travel and tourism).
An IARC Monographs Working Group reviewed studies of cancer in people exposed to night shift work (including transmeridian air travel), studies of cancer in experimental animals exposed to shifts in the light‑dark schedule, and mechanistic evidence in both exposed humans and experimental systems. The review of the present Working Group was the first to be guided by the amended Preamble to the IARC Monographs, which was substantially updated in 2019.