Firefighting is a hazardous occupation that involves excess risk of deaths from accidents, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease. There is also concern that firefighters may experience excess risk of cancer, particularly since the widespread introduction of synthetic building materials and furnishings. To address this question, DCEG conducted a cohort study examining the mortality rate among 7,789 firefighters employed by the City of Philadelphia between 1910 and 1987. Later, these data were pooled with other studies to form a cohort totaling 29,993 U.S. firefighters. The findings from these studies, to date, suggest that firefighters experience elevated risk of death from leukemia and digestive, respiratory and urinary cancers.
For more information, contact Mark Purdue.