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Excess mortality risk from bladder cancer may be related to occupational exposure during firefighting. The thyroid cancer and breast cancer risk in males, as well as the excess risk of cardiovascular disease mortality noted in females warrant further investigation.
Many aspects of firefighting increase cardiovascular strain including activation of the sympathetic nervous system, strenuous physical activity, heat stress and dehydration, and severe environmental conditions. High levels of cardiovascular strain can trigger sudden cardiac events in susceptible individuals with underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Concentrations of air contaminants during fire overhaul exceed occupational exposure limits. Without the use of respiratiory protection, firefighters are overexposed to irritants, chemical asphyxiants and carcinogens.
NIOSH HHE Evaluated Diesel Exhaust Exposure at Fire Stations The evaluation was in response to a concern from firefighters who were concerned that diesel exhaust from firefighting apparatus could…