The link between firefighting and mesothelioma

by | Sep 20, 2019 | mesothelioma

When you earn your living working as a Louisiana firefighter, you face some of the world’s toughest working conditions, and while some of the risks you face are directly related to fighting fires, others arise because of the conditions of your work environment. At Didriksen, Saucier & Woods, PLC, we recognize that today’s firefighters face an elevated risk of experiencing work-related cancer, and we have assisted many firefighters and family members who experienced hardships because of on-the-job exposure pursue appropriate recourse.

According to FireRescue1, today’s firefighters are 14% more likely to die from work-related cancer than members of the general population, and 70% of career firefighter line-of-duty deaths also result from cancer. Mesothelioma, which is a particular form of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, is of particular concern among firefighters, and it is an especially aggressive and deadly form of the disease.

Why? Commonly used in the construction of houses built before the 1980s, asbestos is a highly dangerous substance that can cause substantial harm to those exposed to it. When buildings constructed before the dangers of asbestos were well-known burn down, they release high levels of the contaminant into the air, which firefighters can then breathe in and get on their clothes and personal protective equipment.

While your job makes it difficult to avoid exposure to contaminants in the air, there are some things you can do to lessen your risk of developing mesothelioma or other work-related cancers. Always, for example, wear your personal protective equipment when fighting fires, and always launder that equipment quickly and thoroughly after using it on the job. You can learn more about mesothelioma and asbestos on our webpage.