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The link between firefighting and cancer

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

No one wants to think about the potential dangers they face each day when they show up to work in Alaska, but the state’s firefighters often face such hazardous conditions that they simply cannot ignore the risks. At Kalamarides & Lambert, we understand that firefighters face numerous work-related hazards due to the extremely dangerous nature of firefighting, and we also recognize that today’s firefighters face an elevated risk of developing work-related cancer.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters are 9% more likely than the average American to receive a cancer diagnosis, and they are 14% more likely to die from cancer than the rest of the general population. The results of two large-scale studies concerning firefighter health and cancer revealed these figures, shining a spotlight on just how important it is for firefighters to exercise caution in their professions.

So, what can today’s firefighters do to help mitigate their risk of receiving a diagnosis for job-related cancer? Arguably one of the most important preventative measures you can take to protect yourself if to thoroughly clean your personal protective equipment as soon as you can after use. While this is critical in helping stop the spread of potentially harmful cancer-causing contaminants, so, too, is taking a shower as soon as humanly possible after wearing your personal protective equipment.

While, once upon a time in the industry, some professionals saw wearing soiled protective gear as a sign of toughness or pride in the profession, science has since revealed the serious dangers associated with doing so. You can find out more about work-related injuries and illnesses on our webpage.