Cancer rates among firefighters – both for specific types of cancer and for all cancers combined – are higher than those in the general U.S. population, reports a recent study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This study, which analyzed approximately 30,000 firefighters in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, included firefighters who had been working in these cities from about 1950 through around 2009. The findings are as follows:
- The types of cancer that were most prevalent in the firefighters studied were cancers affecting the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems.
- Mesothelioma, a rare and deadly type of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, affected the firefighters studied twice as often as it did individuals in the general U.S. population.
While the NIOSH plans to conduct additional phases of this study to further analyze some of the specific occupational risk factors that may play a role in causing higher cancer rates among firefighters, some of the preliminary analysis has posited that firefighters are often exposed to:
- Asbestos, particularly when they respond to incidents at older buildings
- Carcinogens that are the products of combustion, such as benzene and formaldehyde.
It’s important to note that this study did not:
- Consider other cancer risk factors, such as individual’s lifestyle choices (i.e., smoking, drinking alcohol, etc.)
- Include a substantial number of women and minorities.
While clearly more research needs to be done into the link between working as a firefighter and having a greater risk of developing cancer later in life, one thing is certain – there are a number of occupational hazards that firefighters regularly encounter and that can have long-term negative effects on their health.
Colorado Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have sustained a workplace injury and are considering (or in the process of) filing a workers’ compensation claim, you cannot rely upon your employer or insurance companies to look out for your best interests. In fact, both your employer and insurance companies will be more focused on their own bottom lines instead of your current and future wellbeing. This can make the system adversarial for injured workers and potentially even put them in situations in which their legitimate workers’ compensation claims are undercut or even flat-out denied.
In such cases, it’s essential that injured workers contact the Colorado workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Michael P. Dominick. Our legal professionals are experienced at going up against corporate lawyers and insurance companies, and we have a proven track record of success when it comes to securing our Clients the maximum possible compensation for their injuries and financial losses. For a thorough evaluation of your case, along with expert advice on the best manner in which to move forward, call us at (303) 447-2644.