S.F. fire department joins study into breast cancer risks
Researchers are hoping to find out whether exposure to toxic chemicals increases the risks of breast cancer in female firefighters
SAN FRANCISCO — When San Francisco firefighters rush out the firehouse doors, sirens screeching on the way to fight fires, they put their lives on the line in more ways than one.
In responding to roughly 28,000 fire calls a year, members of the San Francisco Fire Department are routinely exposed to flame retardants, diesel exhaust and other toxic chemicals that seep out of raging infernos and work their way into the air. A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that exposure increases firefighters’ risk of developing cancer. But until now, studies have focused on men.
That’s about to change. Members of the San Francisco Fire Department are working with researchers at UC Berkeley, UCSF and the Silent Spring Institute to find out whether exposure to toxic chemicals increases the risks of breast cancer in female firefighters. The project, known as the Women Firefighters Biomonitoring Collaborative Study, has been under way for about a year.
Full story: S.F. Fire Department joins study into breast cancer risks