The dangers that come with firefighting are obvious. Burns and smoke inhalation cause a number of fatalities for firefighters yearly. But what about the hidden dangers they face every day on the job? Firefighters are much more likely to contract several types of cancer and other work-related illnesses than the general population. With repeated exposure to smoke, asbestos, and burning toxins, firefighters face more than just the danger of fire in their line of work. Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers remind firefighters that they are entitled to benefits for any diseases they may have acquired as a result of their work.
Exposure to Carcinogens in an Everyday Hazard
The National Institute for Occupation Safety surveyed more than 30,000 firefighters in 2010 and found they suffered from higher rates of respiratory, digestive, bladder, and prostate cancers. Firefighters’ exposure to asbestos also leads to higher rates of mesothelioma. The risk of testicular cancer is 102 percent higher for firefighters than the general population. Firefighters also face a 50 percent higher risk of contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
One of the obstacles in protecting firefighters is their equipment is not completely effective in preventing exposure to carcinogens. Investigators often need to remove masks to smell the scene of a fire to determine if an accelerant has been used, leaving them vulnerable to exposure to toxic smoke and fumes. Firefighters clothing and equipment is also exposed to airborne material that may contain carcinogens. Firefighters may unwittingly bring those toxic materials home, exposing their families.
With all that we know about the cancer risks facing firefighters, experts are addressing the health concerns of these brave men and women. Handheld monitors are being used to assess the chemicals at the scene of a fire so that investigators stay in their suits. Simple solutions like the use of baby wipes and washing machines are encouraged to remove the presence of airborne toxins on firefighters’ bodies and gear. Hopefully even more advances in firefighting technology and equipment are ahead. Reducing cancer for firefighters should be a priority for every community.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Firefighters Injured on the Job
Workplace accidents not only cause pain and suffering, but time off work leads to lost wages and medical expenses. Like firefighters suffering from job-related cancer, all injured workers are entitled to compensation. Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law offer free, no obligation consultations to those injured in workplace accidents in. Call us today at 856-414-0010, or contact us online to discuss your case.
We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Philadelphia County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, Camden County, Burlington County, Salem County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, and Atlantic County.