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Study: High levels of flame retardants found in firefighters, cancer link possible

The study found that some firefighters had two to three times the level of flame retardants in their system than the general U.S. population

SAN FRANCISCO — A new study found that a dozen San Francisco firefighters have unusually high levels of flame retardants in their systems.

This may suggest why so many firefighters are afflicted with cancer and other health problems, researcher say.

The Chemosphere study found that firefighters had high concentrations of the common retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Their levels were two to three times higher than that of other people in California and the general U.S. population.

Researchers admit, while the size of the study was small, it brings to light how these chemicals may affect firefighters, as they are oftentimes exposed to them.

The study was led by the Marine Environmental Research Institute and a retired firefighter.

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