Skip to main content

Firefighters are occupationally exposed to a wide range of combustion-derived toxicants, including some known and probable human carcinogens. The level of exposure depends on the type of event, the PPE being used, and the individual’s role in fire suppression. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently classified Occupational Exposure as a Firefighter as a known human carcinogen. This has sparked increased attention on how firefighters are exposed, and concerns about the effectiveness of protective gear and decontamination methods. Recent work indicates that dermal (skin) contact is an important determinant of carcinogen exposure, and that post-suppression dermal decontamination affords limited protection. Two recent workshops highlighted several important knowledge gaps pertaining to firefighter health and safety, including limited information about underrepresented populations (e.g., wildland, women, indigenous groups, military, aviation), and a lack of information on early physiological effects linked to carcinogen exposure. Current research is providing additional information about sources and levels of occupational exposure, and developing methods to assess early effects linked to carcinogen exposure. Join Dr. Paul White to learn more about the current state of research on this very important topic. Maria Sharpe, Fire Science Manager, CIFFC, provides an overview of the recent Canadian Fire Chiefs Association Workshop on Presumptive Cancer: Exploring the Relationship with Wildland Fires, Results, and Follow-up Measures.  

Media Record Details

Feb 20, 2024
Paul White

Related Event

Cataloging Information

Wildland Firefighter Health

NRFSN number: 26294
Record updated: