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Cancer, a leading cause of death among civilian and military firefighters

Cancer accounted for over 74% of line-of-duty deaths in 2022, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Firefighters have a 9% higher risk of getting cancer and a 14% greater risk of dying from it than the general population.

The risk of cancer among civilian and military firefighters is significantly higher for specific cancers, including mesothelioma, which firefighters are twice as likely to develop than the general population due to asbestos exposure on the job. Moreover, firefighters have a 129% increased risk of dying from mesothelioma.

Testicular cancer is also very common in civilian and military firefighters, as they are also twice more susceptible to coming to struggle with it than the average person. The following are other prevalent cancers in firefighters:

  • multiple myeloma: 1.53 times greater risk
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: 1.51 times greater risk
  • skin cancer: 1.39 times greater risk
  • malignant melanoma: 1.31 times greater risk
  • brain cancer: 1.31 times greater risk
  • prostate cancer: 1.28 times greater risk
  • colon cancer: 1.21 times great risk
  • leukemia: 1.14 times greater risk

One of the main culprits behind these grim statistics is AFFF exposure, which frequently occurs among civilian and military firefighters. Because this firefighting foam contains PFAS in high concentrations, firefighters are more prone to developing cancer due to toxic exposure. It is worth noting that firefighters tend to be diagnosed with cancer at much younger ages than the general population, and this is also the result of toxic exposure on the job, as in addition to PFAS, they also come in contact with harmful substances such as:

  • carbon monoxide
  • hydrogen cyanide
  • ammonia
  • hydrogen chloride
  • sulfur dioxide
  • formaldehyde
  • benzene
  • toluene

Furthermore, civilian and military firefighters are more than three times as prone to die from certain cancers than the general population, which is likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals while extinguishing fires. The rates of prostate cancer, leukemia, and esophageal cancer appear to be 3.8, 3.2, and 2.4 times higher than the average, and overall, firefighters face cancer death rates 1.6 times higher than the general population. If you are or were a civilian or military firefighter, used AFFF, and now struggle with cancer, we encourage you to contact Atraxia Law, as we can help you find out whether you are entitled to financial compensation from the liable manufacturers.

File your AFFF exposure claim with the assistance of our expert team

With over 35 years of experience in evaluating toxic exposure and personal injury cases, our team of professionals is ready to help you determine whether you can file a claim for AFFF exposure with the responsible manufacturers. The process is simple and will mostly take place over the phone, as we understand how overwhelming battling cancer can be. Eligible firefighters will immediately be put in touch with a reliable, specialized attorney.