Ways Firefighters Can Reduce Their Risk for Cancer

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If you’re a firefighter, everyone respects you because we can’t even fathom the courage it must take to do your duty. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the long-term health risks that firefighters face, such as cancer, which happens to be the leading cause of firefighter death. To help you protect yourself, we’re going to cover some ways firefighters can reduce their risk of cancer.

Protect Yourself First and Foremost

Obviously, firefighters need to protect themselves when responding to emergencies, but each emergency can require different equipment. However, regardless of the emergency, you must always wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep yourself safe from burns, scrapes, and smoke inhalation. Smoke is the leading factor that results in cancer because the smoke contains a mixture of gas, soot, carcinogens, and so on.

Clean Your Equipment and Yourself After Responding to a Fire

If you don’t clean your gear after responding to a fire, the soot and smoke that adhered to your gear can lead to health issues. In fact, it’s kind of like carrying cancer on your back. Some firefighters like to keep their gear dirty and worn-out because the soot and grime of the job can offer a sense of accomplishment. However, you need to protect yourself, so it doesn’t matter if your fellow firefighters clean their gear after responding to an emergency or not—you must clean your gear. End of story. In addition, you should always wash yourself as soon as possible after responding to an emergency, especially your face, neck, and arms. The smoke will happily stick to your skin, just like your equipment.

Stay Active and Consume a Healthy Diet

Studies have shown than exercise and a healthy diet can reduce your risk for cancer. Luckily, most firefighters maintain a regular workout routine, but over time, skipping the workouts can become all too easy. We’ve all heard it before, but if you stick to a regular routine, and keep yourself nourished with protein, fruit, veggies, you’ll reduce your risk for multiple diseases and cancer.

Whether you’ve been a professional or volunteer firefighter for a couple of weeks or a couple of decades, all these tips apply to you. Enjoy a long, healthy career by employing these ways firefighters can reduce their risk for cancer.

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