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Retirement for firefighters and cancer development

Retired firefighters are more likely to develop cancer than the rest of the population due to the fact that while active, they have been exposed for years to hazardous chemicals. Answering repeated calls to fires and other emergencies takes a toll on firefighters' health on multiple levels - physical, mental and emotional. It's not just the fires themselves that present dangers, as firefighters work in hazardous environments where they are exposed to toxic chemicals and carcinogenic substances such as:

  • asbestos
  • benzene
  • formaldehyde
  • PFAS

The use of AFFF, a type of firefighting foam containing hazardous chemicals such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, is one of the contributing factors that has been linked to a variety of severe diseases. Also, because of the exposure to hazardous materials, firefighters have a shorter life expectancy than other public sector workers.

Many firefighters struggle with cancer during their retirement

The life expectancy for firefighters is 10 years less than for individuals with other occupations. According to a study, the frequency of leaving the job due to health problems was 60% higher among firefighters than among individuals working in other industries.

Civilian and military firefighters are at considerable risk for chronic diseases and for various types of cancers compared to the general population. Studies have shown that firefighters have statistically significant increases in cancer incidence compared to those with other careers. Exposure to carcinogens in fire smoke and within the fire station are all plausible contributing factors to cancer development.

Instead of enjoying a carefree retirement, many of these brave men and women who saved their communities with so much devotion struggle with this life-threatening disease.

At the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in 2022, nearly 75% of the names added to the wall were firefighters who had died from occupational cancer, such as:

These statistics suggest that firefighters should plan a thorough physical examination in the first year of their retirement and give their health -physical and mental- a vital priority.

We can help you obtain compensation for AFFF exposure

Often, the cancer diagnosis doesn't come until after the firefighters retire and are no longer eligible for line-of-duty benefits like workers compensation.

In such cases, a toxic exposure attorney can help them obtain financial compensation if they worked with the fire suppressant AFFF and developed cancer. With over 35 years of experience evaluating toxic exposure cases, our expert team is ready to help retired firefighters and determine whether they can file a claim for AFFF exposure with the responsible manufacturers. We understand how overwhelming battling cancer can be. Therefore, the claim evaluation is simple and will primarily take place over the phone. We will immediately help eligible firefighters to contact a reliable, experienced attorney.