Current research demonstrates an increased risk for a number of types of cancer among firefighters. Although most fire departments are responding to fewer fires than in the past, the amount of exposure time has increased due to the limited number of available firefighters, either due to budget cuts, staffing reductions or the availability of volunteers.
Today’s fires grow at a much more rapid rate than yesterday’s fires while exposing firefighters to significantly increased concentrations of highly carcinogenic agents. Today’s residential fires have more in common with hazardous materials events than old-fashioned house fires due to the materials now common in homes such as plastics and synthetics. Commercial and vehicle fires have highly concentrated toxicants and dumpster fires contain completely unknown substances and toxicants. Continue Reading →