Laredo firefighters get a lesson on occupational cancer

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:12 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Students over the last decade have shown that firefighter related deaths due to occupational cancers are high.

The Laredo Fire Department has decided to bring some of the health hazards to light during a recent training.

While everyone might see and hear the firetrucks and the firefighters battling the fire, nobody sees what is happening on the inside of a fire officials’ body as they combat these fires.

Public information officer for the Laredo Fire Department Ricardo Oliva Jr. says firefighters are exposed to different carcinogens when they get calls about fires.

He says that by having these training firefighters will be aware of the risk they are putting themselves in.

Oliva says, “It’s an insight of the amount of occupational cancer that our firefighters are exposed to especially being on the fire grounds bring exposed to all these harsh chemicals.”

Even though protective gear and air supply plays a huge role in protective them while they are working this won’t cut it.

Dr. Mohsen Mahani is a cancer doctor and says that these cases have been occurring for many years.

Dr. Mahani says for the past 10 to 15 years, death related cancers in firefighters have been somewhere between 60 to 65 percent so definitely the studies support the fact that firefighters are exposed to certain chemicals are higher risk in cancers.”

Dr. Mahani says these cancers are caused by fires and the chemicals that are released like in an old burning building.

These particles then get on their skin, inhaled or even left on their equipment making them at risk.

Dr. Mahani says, “By products of benzene, formaldehyde those are the things are usually have been associated with cancer and those are things that firefighters are exposed to pretty much on a daily basis.”

Firefighters usually are twice as likely to get testicular cancer, myeloma, skin cancer, brain, prostate colon and leukemia.

Dr. Mahani says he has seen firefighters with cancer.

He suggests firefighters use protective equipment since it is the key to preventing a cancer.

Since these cancers don’t have symptoms, he suggests that they regularly check-up with their primarily doctor or an oncologist to make sure they are healthy.

These training sessions will take place all week.

Copyright 2021 KGNS. All rights reserved.