Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month Continues Education, Prevention

Over time officials say measures like breathing apparatuses and washing gear and skin immediately after calls have become more common.

DULUTH, Minn.- January is Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month as fire crews across the nation work to educate more people about job-related cancer, the leading cause of death among firefighters.

Duluth crews hope more people in and out of the firehouse can learn about the toxic carcinogens such as smoke, char, and newer building materials like plastics and technology which firefighters can inhale or get on their skin.

Over time officials say measures like breathing apparatuses and washing gear and skin immediately after calls have become more common.

“So it was a real effort to stop all that right at the door, washed off, out of station down the drain before back in own lives,” said Asst. Chief Brent Consie. “I think that first step is to be aware of it and to know that there are resources that you can use to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.”

According to the international association of firefighters, they are 14 percent more likely than the general public to die from prostate, bladder, skin, brain, and colon cancer.

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