Navigation Links
Federal Agencies to Study Causes of Firefighters' Cancers

The United States Fire Administration, or USFA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, recently announced a collaborative study to evaluate an increased risk of cancer among firefighters as a result of smoke, soot and other contaminants contained in burning buildings.

(PRWEB) May 2, 2010 -- The United States Fire Administration, or USFA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, recently announced a collaborative study to evaluate an increased risk of cancer among firefighters as a result of smoke, soot and other contaminants contained in burning buildings.

The USFA is a division of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, and, as such, provides a national locus for fire and emergency response teams and individuals, and a resource to provide public information, training, technology and data used to evaluate fires or institute new studies.

A division of the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, NIOSH serves a number of vital functions in the U.S. workforce, primarily diagnosing and preventing work-related illnesses and hazards. It also maintains a Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, which combines a database with safety publications.

USFA Administrator Kelvin J. Cochran was reported as noting that the nation has lost too many firefighters to fire-related diseases and that the study’s primary aim is to determine “epidemiological oversight”; that is, how much more likely are firefighters to acquire certain fire-related illnesses and cancers than the populations at large.

The study, which will run for several years and sample a database of more than 18,000 current and former career firefighters (that is, not volunteer), hopes to use the expanded information to not only create more reliable statistical extrapolations regarding firefighter disease and injury, but to isolate the prevalence of certain cancers from the larger population, giving health care workers and insurers a valid footing from which to compare the risks of various causes of death.

Firefighters are inevitably exposed to smoke, soot and fumes from fires in which potential carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, formaldehyde and asbestos are burnt. In the case of PAHs, their incomplete combustion (which can also occur when cooking meat over charcoal, or burning gasoline in a poorly tuned automobile engine) can lead to reproductive effects, skin rashes, and cancer.

Formaldehyde, the chief ingredient used in embalming (preserving human or animal bodies after death), is another toxin listed on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) site. ATSDR, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, lists formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen that, even at lesser doses, causes severe eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant, which can also damage the gastrointestinal tract and cause respiratory failure and acute renal failure.

Asbestos, though not initially toxic, can lead to a number of illnesses and diseases, namely asbestosis (which is not unlike COPD or asthma) and malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, most often diagnosed as malignant pleural (in the lungs) mesothelioma, is a form of cancer with a long dormancy period, during which the disease produces few symptoms.

Once patients cross some as-yet undiagnosed threshold, symptoms become quite definitive, and sufferers seeking a doctor’s care will generally receive a diagnosis of about one year to live.

For firefighters, who are exposed to asbestos in every severe fire in a building more than forty years old, the risk of mesothelioma is huge – almost as high as for shipyard workers and boiler. In spite of this evident risk, no actual studies showing the incidence of mesothelioma among firefighters has been conducted since 1990.

This joint NIOSH/USFA study will be funded by the latter agency, and hopes to determine if more cancers occurred among the 18,000 than among the population in general, and if the cancers can be attributed to the contaminants to which firefighters are traditionally exposed.

# # #

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2010 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Talecris Biotherapeutics Hires Nimish Shah as Vice President, Federal Government Relations
2. LSI Earns 3M Warranty Certification; Gains Federal ID Badge Contracts
3. Boston researchers lead $15 million federal research grant to support advancement of health IT
4. New Free Webinars Announced to Discuss the Latest Federal Court Overpayment Lawsuit Ruling and New Obama Health Laws for the Skyrocketing $6 Trillion Overpayment Recoupment Market
5. EVMS receives more than $1 million in federal funds to develop new ways to reverse type 1 diabetes
6. PCMA: Federal Enrollees Don't Want Congress to Reduce Pharmacy Choices, Impose Price Controls in FEHBP
7. New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) at NYIT Awarded $1 Million Federal Grant
8. Pew Applauds Federal Grant Program Supporting State Expansion of Evidence-Based Home Visitation
9. Executive Order Will In No Way Prevent Federal Funding of Elective Abortion
10. Bipartisan Capitol Hill Media Event: Health Experts, Lawmakers to Urge Federal Government to Fix the Funding Failure for Chronic Viral Hepatitis
11. Study: Federal funds support health depts., but leadership is key
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Federal Agencies to Study Causes of Firefighters' Cancers 
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... The Horizon Foundation for ... focused on improving public health and enhancing the quality of life in the Garden ... 11 New Jersey non-profit organizations. , The charitable arm of Horizon Blue Cross ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... present the latest version of Companion Mics, the CM•4 Multi-Talker Noise Reduction System, ... Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians’ (EUHA) 60th Annual Congress in Nuremberg, Germany. ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Town, Maine (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... Lake Itasca, MN. Their mission: To paddle the entire 2,320-miles of river to the ... are now halfway done with the monumental journey, with two months remaining for a ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... ... to be a part of a contact channel benchmarking study. Be ... comparisons of key operational strategies for improving customer experience, customer journey, contact channel ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... NFL football fans who ... to consider donating to a great cause. CLICK HERE to donate to Smile ... and receive an opportunity to win an all-inclusive trip to the 2016 NFL Super Bowl! ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 ... research report "Spirometer Market by Product (Hand-held, Table-top, Desktop), Technology ... Homecare), Application, & Geography - Global Forecast to 2020", published ... 858.6 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 9.8% from ... and 128 F igures spread th rough 187 ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... PUNE, India , October 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... The Plague - Pipeline Review, H2 2015 ... helps strengthen plague R&D pipelines by identifying new ... products. . --> ... report on Plague pipeline spread across 62 pages, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 Device usage in healthcare continues to ... these devices into existing clinical workflow. In response, Ergotron, ... mobility solutions, has launched the SV10 series of its ... wide array of laptops and tablets. In addition, one ... for Microsoft Surface and is compatible with all Surface ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: