The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has declared occupational exposures a 'preventable cause of cancer' for firefighters. On 1 July, a working group of the World Health Organisation (WHO) agency announced: “After thoroughly reviewing the available scientific literature, the Working Group classified occupational exposure as a firefighter as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), on the basis of sufficient evidence for cancer in humans.” It added: “Occupational exposure as a firefighter causes cancer. There was sufficient evidence for cancer in humans for the following cancer types: mesothelioma and bladder cancer. There was limited evidence for cancer in humans for the following cancer types: colon cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, melanoma of the skin, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

Source: IARC alert, news release, Q&A and infographic. Demers P, DeMarini D, Fent K, Glass D, Hansen J, Adetona O and others. Carcinogenicity of occupational exposure as a firefighter, Lancet Oncology, Published online 30 June 2022. DOI:


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