Study: Latino, black firefighters at higher risk of cancer

A physician said racial bias in the workplace could be one reason minority firefighters develop cancer at higher rates

By Amanda Le Claire
Arizona Public Media

TUCSON, Ariz. — A new study shows firefighters are at a higher risk of specific cancers than the general population.

Firefighting is a dangerous job, but research in the past has found it also correlates with a higher risk of cancer. The study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) used data from the California cancer registry, the largest cancer registry in the U.S. Rebecca Tsai, an epidemiologist with NIOSH, is one of the study’s authors. She said firefighters are more likely to develop "melanoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the tongue, esophagus, testes, and brain.”

She said the data also shows that Black and Latino firefighters have an even higher risk of these cancers than their white counterparts. Jeff Calvert, a physician and another author of the study, said racial bias in the workplace could be one of the reasons firefighters of minority descent develop cancer at higher rates.

Full story: Latino, Black Firefighters at Higher Risk of Cancer

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