NIOSH Conducting Study of Firefighting's Cancer Risk
The multi-year, records-based study will include about 18,000 current and retired career firefighters. The findings will aid the International Agency for Research on Cancer's review of the carcinogenicity of firefighting.
Researchers at NIOSH have started a study of the relationship between firefighters' exposures and cancer risks, stepping into what has been a contentious topic in recent years as some U.S. cities' cancer presumption laws were called into question.
The NIOSH announcement said this will be a multi-year, records-based study that will include about 18,000 current and retired career firefighters from suburban and large urban fire departments. "The study will provide critical information for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as they continue to review the carcinogenicity of firefighting," the announcement said.
IARC is a World Health Organization agency coordinating cancer research; it has a "biobank" containing more than 10 million samples from more than a million subjects worldwide, samples that are used to investigate cancer causes and how it can be prevented or detected early.
NIOSH said it will share its study's results and recommendations with the fire service with help from the International Association of Firefighters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, each participating fire department, and other firefighter organizations.
For information about the study, contact Travis Kubale, Ph.D. or Tom Hales, M.D., MPH, at [email protected] or [email protected], respectively.