Firefighters Are at High Risk for Cancer

Discussion on health consequences of air particulates

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Firefighters Are at High Risk for Cancer

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:37 pm

Firefighters Are at High Risk for Cancer

My niece's boy friend is a firefighter. He suggested I do some research on the high cancer rates among
firefighters. A quick google search of "firefighters cancer" produced 516,000 hits. I don't have time to sift
through all of these interesting articles, but just for the sake of example, I have posted some of the links here.

One-half million hits, sort of begs the question: Just what could be causing the cancers - wood smoke?
Consider that most homes in the U.S. are constructed of wood. The firefighter must sometimes enter burning
houses. There is some inhaled smoke, even though they are wearing protective breathing apparatus.

Also, the combustion of home electrical wiring insulation produces chlorine, chlorine oxides, and chlorinated
dioxins, etc. But the main danger in house fires is wood smoke. Granted, other contaminants are encountered
by firefighters, for example, while battling industrial fires.

Even so, they are not exposed to smoke on a continual basis, as people living in wood-burning towns are.

Taken from an earlier posting of mine:

"Large amount of smoke/small amount of time = small amount of smoke/large amount of time

The total summations are equal in both scenarios. For example, no one will deny that it is unsafe to enter
a burning house, because of the danger of heavy smoke inhalation. But that's for a very short time interval.

On the other hand, small concentrations of smoke, inhaled over long time intervals (chronic exposure effect)
will result in the same overall total amount of smoke inhaled. This engenders a similar negative effect on the
body, collectively. That is to say, in either case, one risks sickness, perhaps even death, in the final outcome
of either eventuality."

Please read this article for further explanation of this principle: Haber's Rule


A small sampling of links: firefighter's high cancer risk

Firefighters Face Increased Cancer Risk/The Johns Hopkins University ... =PORTAL30P

Firefighters Face Increased Risk for Certain Cancers/University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center

Firefighters Face Increased Risk of Cancer/University of Florida Shands Cancer Center ... s&id=38563

The risk of cancer in firefighters/Pub Med ... xed=google

Cancer Risk Among Firefighters: A Review and Meta-analysis of 32 Studies
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine ... -00014.htm

Firefighters at High Risk for Cancer/Airborne toxins raise their risk over time, study suggests
The HealthScout Network ... &id=536030

For those who stubbornly remain unconvinced of the dangers of smoke inhalation, please do your own on-line
research. In this age of information, no one should remain uninformed as to the health hazards and dangers
which surround us. To discount the health-danger of smoke is foolish thinking.
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Thank you for: Firefighters are at high risk for cancer.

Postby pm2.5mary » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:04 pm

It is a big help to have our research expanded.

We are working on a brochure for Cancer Patients at the moment. Many have not heard that smoke could complicate their recovery and derail their treatment.

Don't know if we will get it done before the new year. I keep getting blasted with wood smoke at the CAR, Inc. office. We soldier on.
"Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die. " (Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002)
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Postby HowFun » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:41 am

I'm pretty sure that breathing smoke directly from a burning house (plastics, rubber, chemicals) is much worse for you than seeing smoke come out of the tops of chimneys of peoples houses.
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Postby Wilberforce » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:48 pm

People living in wood-burning towns are exposed to smoke on a more or less continual basis.

Large amount of smoke/small amount of time = small amount of smoke/large amount of time

If firefighters are at high risk for cancer, then so are the recipients of a constant low-concentration of
wood smoke. The equation above suggests this. As Bill O'Reilly would put it: tell me where I'm wrong.
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