What is the Firefighter Cancer Problem?

Firefighter cancer is a growing catastrophe for the fire service community. Cancer is the most dangerous and unrecognized threat to the health and safety of our nation’s firefighters.

Numerous studies repeatedly demonstrate statistically
higher rates of multiple types of cancers in firefighters
compared to the general American population.

We are just beginning to understand the horrific magnitude of the problem, the challenges involved, and the changes required in education, training, operations, medical screenings, and personal accountability to effectively address cancer in the fire service.

In an effort to help address the alarming rate of cancer in the fire service, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network and Honeywell joined forces to publish an industry white paper that provides useful information regarding the risks firefighters face during the course of their duties, and also offers practical tips for minimizing their exposure to cancer-causing substances.

Recognizing this awful threat, it is our goal to do everything we can to raise awareness, promote education, and further the dialog and adoption of safety practices and initiatives to reduce exposure to carcinogens. Below are a few of the initiatives we’ve implemented this year.

One fire department...one firefighter…one habit change to take preventative action that reduces exposure to carcinogens…. could make a difference!

A study investigating the root causes of over 3000 firefighter line-of-duty-deaths by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has concluded that a vast majority of these deaths could have been prevented. In order to help fire departments in their efforts to eliminate preventable firefighter injuries and deaths, the NFFF, in coordination with the United States Fire Administration and with exclusive corporate support from Honeywell, is developing a model Vulnerability Assessment tool for any department that endeavors to evaluate its risk profile.

Click here to learn more about the VAP

What you need to know a​bout the NFPA 1851 standard.

Print these posters and hang them
in your fire station!

Smoke Particle Infiltration into
Firefighter Clothing

Exposure to cancer-causative agents in firefighting likely occurs on the fireground as well as in the aftermath of firefighting activity, particularly if clothing is not cleaned.


Past articles

Reducing Your Exposure by Keeping Gear Clean

Making the Link between Firefighting
and Cancer

Structural Fires Are Hazardous
Materials Incidents

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