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Firefighters face increased risk for certain cancers

ers, most of them full-time, white male workers, from 32 previously published scientific studies to determine the comprehensive health effects and correlating cancer risks of their profession.

Risk for 20 different cancers was classified into three categories--probable, possible or not likely--patterned after the IARC's risk-assessment model.

UC epidemiologists found that half the studied cancers--including testicular, prostate, skin, brain, rectum, stomach and colon cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and malignant melanoma--were associated with firefighting on varying levels of increased risk.

"There's a critical and immediate need for additional protective equipment to help firefighters avoid inhalation and skin exposures to known and suspected occupational carcinogens," says Lockey, professor of environmental health and pulmonary medicine at UC. "In addition, firefighters should meticulously wash their entire body to remove soot and other residues from fires to avoid skin exposure."
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Source:University of Cincinnati


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