Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Firefighters Face Increased Risk For Certain Cancers

Date:
November 10, 2006
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
University of Cincinnati environmental health researchers have determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields. Their findings suggest that the protective equipment firefighters have used in the past didn't do a good job in protecting them against cancer-causing agents they encounter in their profession, the researchers say.

University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers have determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields.

Related Articles


Their findings suggest that the protective equipment firefighters have used in the past didn't do a good job in protecting them against cancer-causing agents they encounter in their profession, the researchers say.

The researchers found, for example, that firefighters are twice as likely to develop testicular cancer and have significantly higher rates of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prostate cancer than non-firefighters. The researchers also confirmed previous findings that firefighters are at greater risk for multiple myeloma.

Grace LeMasters, PhD, Ash Genaidy, PhD, and James Lockey, MD, report these findings in the November edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The UC-led study is the largest comprehensive study to date investigating cancer risk associated with working as a firefighter.

"We believe there's a direct correlation between the chemical exposures firefighters experience on the job and their increased risk for cancer," says LeMasters, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at UC.

Firefighters are exposed to many compounds designated as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)--including benzene, diesel engine exhaust, chloroform, soot, styrene and formaldehyde, LeMasters explains. These substances can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and occur both at the scene of a fire and in the firehouse, where idling diesel fire trucks produce diesel exhaust.

"Firefighters work in an inherently dangerous occupation on a daily basis," LeMasters adds. "As public servants, they need--and deserve--additional protective measures that will ensure they aren't at an increased cancer risk."

The UC-led team analyzed information on 110,000 firefighters, 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."

The research was supported in part by a grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. Study collaborators include UC's Paul Succop, PhD, James Deddens, PhD and Kari Dunning, PhD, as well as Tarek Sobeih, MD, PhD, of Cairo University, and Heriberto Barriera-Viruet, PhD, of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "Firefighters Face Increased Risk For Certain Cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061110080741.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2006, November 10). Firefighters Face Increased Risk For Certain Cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061110080741.htm
University of Cincinnati. "Firefighters Face Increased Risk For Certain Cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061110080741.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins