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Working as a firefighter in Ohio can be highly rewarding, but the profession also brings with it undeniable risks. While some of those risks involve the actual act of fighting fires, others involve exposure to potentially hazardous contaminants, many of which are known carcinogens. At Johnson & Associates, we recognize that today’s firefighters face a heightened risk of experiencing work-related cancer, and we have helped many people who developed employment-related cancers pursue appropriate recourse.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, today’s firefighters are almost 10% more likely to receive a cancer diagnosis than the rest of the population, and there has also been a 14% increase recently in the number of firefighters dying from cancer. Just what is it about your job that makes you face a heightened risk for developing cancer, and is there anything you can do to help protect yourself?

When you engage in firefighting efforts, you undergo exposure to cancer-causing contaminants, and once those contaminants get on your personal protective equipment, they can then cross-contaminate anything they touch. Therefore, extensively cleaning your personal protective equipment immediately after use will help reduce your cancer risk to some extent, and so, too, will changing and showering promptly after wearing your protective equipment.

It is also important to note that contaminants can come in contact with other gear used in firefighting in addition to your protective equipment. Fire hoses and similar apparatus can also undergo contamination, so do not neglect thoroughly cleaning these items after each use, either. You can learn more about workers’ compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses on our webpage.