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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-360-1495, Chester Fire Department, Chester, Pennsylvania.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 83-360-1495, 1984 Aug; :1-13
An epidemiological survey to determine cancer incidence among fire fighters of the Chester Fire Department (SIC-9224), Chester, Pennsylvania, was conducted in August, 1983. The survey was requested by the International Association of Fire Fighters to evaluate possible long term health effects among fire fighters who fought a fire at a chemical waste dump site in 1978. The request was prompted by the occurrence of cancer in several fire fighters. Previous evaluation by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that 32 carcinogens or toxins and 5 heavy metals were detectable at the dump site. Questionnaires were sent to 300 persons who may have responded to the fire calls. A total of 108 responses were received. Six cases of cancer were identified. For the 5.5 year period since the fire, 1.8 malignancies of all types would have been expected. The authors conclude that a statistically significant excess incidence of total cancer has occurred among fire fighters who extinguished the waste dump fire. It is unlikely that the excess cancer incidence is related to the fire. They recommend regular screening for cancer according to American Cancer Society guidelines and providing fire departments with information about potentially hazardous substances.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Unconfirmed; Fire-fighting; Region-3; Disease-incidence; Epidemiology; Risk-analysis; Cancer-rate; HETA-83-360-1495; Author Keywords: Cancer, Fire Fighters; Toxic Wastes; Chemical Dump; Cluster
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division