Firefighting is a dangerous profession, and a growing body of research and data shows the contributions that job-related exposures have in chronic illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently undertook two large studies focused on firefighter cancer and concluded that firefighters face a 9 percent increase in cancer diagnoses, and a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths, compared to the general population in the U.S.
A new law that requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a registry to collect data on firefighter cancer was signed on July 9, 2018 by President Trump. The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act calls for the collection of voluntary data including whether a firefighter is a career professional or volunteer, years on the job, the number of calls responded to, and incident type so that researchers can better understand the impact of smoke inhalation and other job-related dangers that may lead to cancer.
Cancer awareness with the Boston Fire Department
Boston Fire Department story of how cancer has impacted them. Commissioner Joseph Finn and his members share their personal stories and memories of those who have been lost to occupational cancer.
Projects from the Research Foundation
From NFPA Journal®
Facing Cancer: As the nation’s fire service acknowledges the toll the disease is taking on its ranks, Boston emerges as a leader in establishing practices to protect firefighters against cancer, May/June 2017
From the National Volunteer Fire Council
In this video from NVFC: cancer is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous threats to firefighters. Make smart choices and utilize best practices to reduce your risk. Learn more at: www.nvfc.org/servestrong