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Firefighters battle higher cancer rates, lack proper funding to combat risks.

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posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 06:22 PM
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My sister's bf's father, Joel Johnston, is 44 years old and was just diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage 4 cancer. He has never smoked/done drugs in his life and is an avid marathoner. After researching the causes of his cancer, I have realized how prevalent cancer occurs in fire departments.
In 2010, the CDC with funding assistance from the U.S. Fire Administration launched a multi-year study to examine whether fire fighters have a higher risk of cancer and other causes of death due to job exposures. The study concluded this year and here is one of the major findings:

Among 19309 male firefighters eligible for the study, there were 1333 cancer deaths and 2609 cancer incidence cases. Significant positive associations between fire-hours and lung cancer mortality and incidence were evident.

Here is a link to the study. LINK

Here is a link to the recent news story talking about Joel and a fellow firefighter battling cancer.LINK

The next ? is what causes these rates to be so high? One factor is the exposure to asbestos in older homes. Another factor is the lack of funding to wash their own suits regularly after being exposed to various carcinogens. A bill was introduced in Connecticut to give compensation to firefighters who have cancer. However, more awareness is needed in gov't to give proper funding to departments around the country.

Unfortunately for my sisters bf, his father has no life insurance. Him and his 3 siblings are all under 17 and face an uncertain financial future due to lack of life insurance. Here is a link to a fund set up by a fellow firefighter to raise $ for the family.LINK




edit on 10-3-2015 by kevinp2300 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 06:53 PM
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a reply to: kevinp2300

I totally agree that if we want them to ACTUALLY be safe and as best protected as possible, much more needs to be done to provide the resources to firefighters and all first responders, to appropriately meet their needs for work safety.

However, what in fact needs to be focused on is not keeping people employed as firefighters and first responders. But instead on building a better society structurally and philosophically, to avoid such a significant need for these occupations and their resources. Indeed, it can be incredibly expensive to operate such services to be an effective force for the current cultures.

Why are we living and working in such toxic and flammable homes and buildings? Life, if engineered properly, can be much smarter and safer.

I have a feeling it would be cheaper to just start with new cities. But we all know how much everyone likes change on this planet.

...oh well

I empathize with the suffering your family is going through. Be strong.
edit on thppmTue, 10 Mar 2015 18:56:44 -0500k1503America/Chicago1056 by Sparkymedic because: real thoughts came to mind...



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:06 PM
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The problem is that we are making so many plastics that are deemed safe in normal use, but if something catches fire, these plastics and other chemicals can cause serious problems. We have surrounded ourselves with things that give off endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. They used to tighten houses up, now they have to leave in fresh air because all these chemicals are in our environment. Then along comes a fire and these ignite, in a few minutes a small fire can kill everyone in the house. So the firemen are exposed to these smells on a regular basis, that leads to cancer over a period of time. They don't wear their respirators when removing their clothes, they get some on them when they take off their suits.

The best way to solve this problem is to have someone start examining these plastics and ban some of them. Even with no fire, we are surrounding ourselves with this stuff that is bad for us.

I know a few firemen, I do not think it is fair for someone volunteering to fight fires to be at risk of getting cancer, they need to do something about all this plastic crap. Urethane finish on furniture is very bad for us when it burns, what happened to real varnish?
edit on 10-3-2015 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 09:06 PM
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I'm not trying to sound insensitive but was/is he still employed as a firefighter when diagnosed? Does he have life insurance through his employer? It's very unusual for a firefighter not to have life insurance because it is a very hazardous job. Also, short and long term disability should be available and medical insurance through his employer.

As Rickymouse stated, there are terrible toxins in burning homes so the exposure level to individuals in or around them is hugely magnified. Quite frankly, I'm surprised the cancer rate isn't higher.

Another note, are those stats of cancer rates and death rates, if I read them correctly, not a high survival rate from cancer, like around 50%? Not good.

Thoughts to him during a traumatic and stressful time. Hopefully things will work out for him.



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: Sparkymedic

TY for the kind words. Yes, eventually I hope technology advances to the point of robots being able to find victims and be first responders as well. I feel like some black ops robotics program probably has similar technology kept under wraps. But for now we have to think about how to improve the safety/health of our firefighters.




The best way to solve this problem is to have someone start examining these plastics and ban some of them. Even with no fire, we are surrounding ourselves with this stuff that is bad for us


Unfortunately, if such a bill was introduced, I assume the companies that make plastics would somehow lobby against it ever being passed. Thats the country we live in. The plastics are cheaper and $ runs the show.



I'm not trying to sound insensitive but was/is he still employed as a firefighter when diagnosed? Does he have life insurance through his employer? It's very unusual for a firefighter not to have life insurance because it is a very hazardous job.

I am not sure as to why he doesn't have life insurance, what you are saying sounds right. Maybe the life insurance policies are too expensive.



Another note, are those stats of cancer rates and death rates, if I read them correctly, not a high survival rate from cancer, like around 50%? Not good.


Yes, the rates are very high. I believe it is because these toxins get breathed in and the lungs have the most blood flow out of the organs that have cancer and cause it to spread to other parts of the body.
edit on 10-3-2015 by kevinp2300 because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-3-2015 by kevinp2300 because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-3-2015 by kevinp2300 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: kevinp2300

I recall reading an article on the toxic dangers of vinyl siding years ago. A majority of homes are clad in vinyl siding and once they're set on fire it releases extremely toxic fumes. I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't a direct correlation between the high cancer rates among fire fighters.


The Real Danger of Vinyl Siding
Even a small house fire that affects the vinyl siding will lead to the release of a host of health dangers due to toxic chemicals known to severely damage lung and kidney tissue. "Your biggest concern is if the house catches fire. Even the ash is dangerous," said Caplan. He added that the binders in vinyl siding are also affected by ultraviolet light and oxidation. "We see that with all kinds of plastics," he said.

That said, heat and severe weather may have also played a part in numerous reports in 2006 of illnesses affecting Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were placed in FEMA trailers. Most, if not all of the trailers were vinyl-sided. People working in or living near a vinyl manufacturing plant are exposed to the most health dangers and are at the greatest risk for cancer, neurological damage, birth defects and lung and kidney disease.

Vinyl is most dangerous when being manufactured and during disposal. Vinyl in a landfill can be a threat to groundwater via release of dioxins and other toxins as the material breaks down.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 12:00 AM
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Until 1979 PCBs were use in electrical wiring insulation'

When burned this insulation gives off Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) in the smoke.
These PCDD/Fs are just as toxic as the Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in agent orange.

Around the world trade center site was the highest levels of PCDD/Fs ever recorded in the US.
www.health.ny.gov...

PCBs are found in paint, electrical wiring insulation, fireproofing, transformers, made before 1979 when they were banned,

All firefighter are exposed to PCBs and PCDD/F from smoke in fires.

Even if wearing airpacks there turnouts/bunker gear collects large amounts and holds it even when washed.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 12:03 AM
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a reply to: ANNED

Funny you mention the WTC. The man in the news video I posted worked at ground zero for multiple years. He now has lung cancer and has never smoked.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: kevinp2300
that is horrid news ... and such a young age ..

i recently lost a few family and friends to cancer .. pretty young also .. one was late forties ...

to add ... after being aware of the cause in each case, and trying to remove the source of the problem (in this case mainly smoke inhalation ? ) one of the first things to be aware of in my opinion, should always be diet ...
Not saying it's not related to the firefighting environment in which he works ... We are often in environments, that toxify, or slowly poison our bodies systems, which after prolonged periods of exposure, may start to show real symptoms, including cancer unfortunately ....
Obviously, firstly, we should try identify, and fix or remove ourselves from these environments ... But secondary to that, diet is everything... The body is always trying to repair itself, and heal itself, detox itself with whatever tools it has at its disposal, in way of nutrients, vitamins, oxygen, etc ... The more we can give it of the good stuff, while reducing or omitting the problem that directly caused the issue, will go a long way, to healing, or at least, extending life.

Get him on those lovely veg juices now !! ... It can (and will) only help ...



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