Frequently asked questions : NIOSH Fire Fighter Cancer Study
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Frequently asked questions : NIOSH Fire Fighter Cancer Study
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  • Description:
    Fire fighters face many hazards in the line of duty. The risks of severe and potentially fatal injuries from the dangerous environment of a fire scene are well known. Additionally, fires generate toxic contaminants, some that are known or suspected to cause cancer. Less is known about long term health effects fire fighters may experience as a result of such work-related exposures. One question is whether or not fire fighters are more at risk for developing cancer. In 2010, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) embarked on a multi-year effort to conduct a large-scale study to better understand the potential link between fire fighting and cancer. Initial findings were recently published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. We found that a combined population of fire fighters from three large U.S. cities showed higher-than-expected rates of certain types of cancer than the general U.S. population. Our findings suggest that fire fighters may be at higher risk of digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary system cancers than the general population. In summary, these findings strengthen the evidence that fire fighting may increase cancer risks. The current findings are the first product from the study. Our next step is to examine the relationship between work-related exposures and cancer among the fire fighters in our study. We hope to have this assessment completed within the next year. See below for further details about the study and results. FAQ-NIOSHFFCancerStudy.pdf
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