CONCORD, NC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Firefighters deal with intense heat, backdrafts, quick rescues, and, unfortunately, cancer from unsafe chemicals from protective gear and burn sites.
But does cancer from safety-related gear have to be part of the job?
The firefighter profession has become increasingly more dangerous for its rise in cancer-related deaths and cancer-related exposures, according to the World Health Organization. Recently, the organization labeled the job as a carcinogenic profession.
Studies show firefighters have a 60% chance of developing cancer after retirement. The most common types include intestinal, brain, mesothelioma, testicular, and Non-Hodgin’s Lymphoma.
Evidence and research point toward harmful chemicals made into the fire suits known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.
These “forever” chemicals help remove common flammable materials. At the same time, they linger in the human body and the environment.
Some findings have found that these PFAS chemicals are why so many firefighters have been diagnosed with cancer and died from it.
On Tuesday, the International Association of Firefighters revealed it had secured a legal council to push for changes at a Las Vegas training summit.
A news release, in part, announced:
General President Edward Kelly announced today at the Affiliate Leadership Training Summit that the IAFF has retained three nationally recognized law firms to change regulatory standards, demand PFAS-free gear, and be available to be retained by members and families seeking compensation for PFAS-related illness .
PFAS “forever chemicals” are found