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New poster details ways firefighters can reduce cancer risk

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Photo: National Volunteer Fire Council

Washington — In response to multiple studies showing that firefighters are at an increased risk for many types of cancers, the National Volunteer Fire Council and four other organizations have developed a poster intended to help firefighters understand their risks and take action to protect themselves.

The poster provides 11 best practices for minimizing cancer risks. Topics include personal protective equipment, decontamination and cleaning of clothing and equipment, and firefighter health.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Volunteer and Combination Officers Section, the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, and California Casualty also contributed to developing the poster.

“Firefighters are contracting cancer at an alarming rate, and we need to take action to protect our brothers and sisters,” Chief Brian McQueen, co-chair of NVFC’s Cancer Subcommittee and a cancer survivor, said in a March 6 press release. “Fortunately, there are specific things we can do to lessen our risks and prevent exposure.”

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