What causes firefighters to get cancer?

Firefighters can be exposed to hundreds of different chemicals in the form of gases, vapors, and particulates. Some of these chemical substances are known or suspected to cause cancer. Some of these hazardous substances are byproducts of combustion or burning, such as benzene and formaldehyde.

How can firefighters get cancer?

Local fire officials said the risk of developing cancer will always exist because of the nature of the work, making it difficult to prevent exposure to toxins from fires. “Certainly with modern building materials, increased use of plastics and resins, fires are more toxic than they ever have been before.

What cancers are firefighters prone to?

The original studies (n = 104) analyzed in the SRs were published between 1959 and 2018. The results consistently reported a significant increase in the incidence of rectal, prostate, bladder and testicular cancers as well as mesothelioma and malignant melanoma in firefighters compared to the general population.

What is the number 1 killer in firefighters?

Cancer is now the number one cause of death among firefighters. According to data from the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network (active in the USA and Canada) cancer caused 66% of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from 2002 to 2019.

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Why are firefighters at risk for prostate cancer?

Firefighters are susceptible, because of occupational exposures, to a number of cancers and prostate cancer is one of the major cancers. A number of exposures occur during the firefighting “overhaul” procedures. Firefighters are exposed to carcino- genic toxicants which increase the risk of cancers.

How do firefighters prevent cancer?

As a firefighter, what can I do to reduce my risk of cancer?

  1. Reduce exposure to diesel exhaust from the fire apparatus. …
  2. Clean and care for PPE and SCBA properly. …
  3. Wash yourself as soon as possible after every fire. …
  4. Store PPE gear correctly to avoid contaminating other areas in the firehouse or apparatus.

What toxins are firefighters exposed to?

The results indicate that firefighters are frequently exposed to significant concentrations of hazardous materials including carbon monoxide, benzene, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, aldehydes, hydrogen chloride, dichlorofluoromethane, and particulates.

What is the average life expectancy of a firefighter?

The average life expectancy at age 60 for police and firefighters was 24 years for men and 26 years for women. For non-police and fire, the comparable figures were 25 years for men and 27 years for women – just one year longer! And the pattern was quite consistent across states and localities.

Do firefighters have health problems?

Firefighters are susceptible to burns, smoke inhalation and crush injuries from collapsing structures. They can suffer from heat exhaustion, as well as long-term job-related illnesses such as asthma, persistent coughing, heart disease, cancer and lung damage.

Which of the following diseases are firefighters at an increased risk for?

Their emergency medical response duties also put them at risk of exposure to infectious agents. Firefighters are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, cancer, and noise-induced hearing loss. Occupational medical care for firefighters needs to monitor for these long-term health risks.

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Why do firefighters get heart attacks?

Firefighting is both a physically and emotionally demanding job. The dangerous work, heavy uniforms and overwhelming amount of stress cause strain on the heart. This strain, in conjunction with a toxic work environment – breathing in smoke, dehydration and gas exposure – can trigger a sudden cardiac episode.

How are firefighters dying?

Source: Firefighter Fatalities in the United States, Rita F.

Firefighter deaths by cause and nature of injury.

Cause of Injury Fatalities Percentage
Overexertion/stress/medical 26 54%
Rapid fire progress/explosions 6 13%
Crashes 4 8%
Struck by vehicle 4 8%

How do firefighters deal with stress?

In addition to finding professional support, firefighters are encouraged to self-manage their individual stress levels by incorporating activities such as exercise, meditation, and hobbies into their routine. Exercise: Exercise is a superb way of relieving stress.

Why is testicular cancer common in firefighters?

LeMasters explained that firefighters are exposed to many compounds designated as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer – including benzene, diesel engine exhaust, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde.

Is it hard to be a female firefighter?

The entry requirements are the same for all firefighters, regardless of their gender. As a girl firefighter, though, you may need to exercise more and focus on building up your strength. … Women firefighters must be able to keep up with the physical demands of this profession.