EU urged to take action over high cancer rates among firefighters

Mar 5, 2015 | News, Smoke Toxicity

(Published by Adam Bannister, IFSEC Global)

Cancer rates among firefighters are well above average because of repeated exposure to deadly, toxic smoke, the European Fire Fighters Unions Alliance (EFFUA) has warned.

The alliance of trade unions from 12 European countries is now urging the EU to introduce tough smoke toxicity regulations for construction materials, extra funding for research into the problem and additional resources for improving health training for firefighters.

“We chose this profession to save lives, but as a result of toxic chemicals we end up fighting for our own,” EFFUA President Mikael Svanberg told a European Parliament meeting of MEPs Against Cancer (MAC). “I’m tired of going to the funerals of colleagues who have died too young as a result of cancer.”

Centred specifically around the issue of cancer rates among firefighters the discussion was co-organised by Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) and the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL).

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