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Firefighters and cancer

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. 

Latest news
  • The Firefighter Service Occupational Cancer Alliance, First Responder Center for Excellence, a division of the NFFF, has developed a Fire Service Occupational Cancer Tool Kit to provide comprehensive guidance regarding the risk and prevention of cancers caused by fire service occupational exposures. 

  • On July 27, 2017, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act (H.R. 931) was "ordered to be reported (amended) by voice vote" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect history and occupational information that can be linked to existing data in state cancer registries. The registry must be used to improve monitoring of cancer among firefighters and to collect and publish epidemiological information regarding cancer among firefighters. H.R. 931 was introduced on February 7, 2017 by U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) and 186 co-sponsors.


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: