Risk of cancer among firefighters in California, 1988-2007

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jul;58(7):715-29. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22466. Epub 2015 May 6.

Abstract

Background: Most studies of firefighter cancer risks were conducted prior to 1990 and do not reflect risk from advances in building materials.

Methods: A case-control study using California Cancer Registry data (1988-2007) was conducted to evaluate the risk of cancer among firefighters, stratified by race.

Results: This study identified 3,996 male firefighters with cancer. Firefighters were found to have a significantly elevated risk for melanoma (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-2.1), multiple myeloma (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-1.8), acute myeloid leukemia (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-2.0), and cancers of the esophagus (OR 1.6; 95%CI 1.2-2.1), prostate (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.3-1.7), brain (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.2-2.0), and kidney (OR 1.3; 95%CI 1.0-1.6).

Conclusions: In addition to observing cancer findings consistent with previous research, this study generated novel findings for firefighters with race/ethnicity other than white. It provides additional evidence to support the association between firefighting and several specific cancers.

Keywords: cancer; firefighters; occupation; registry; risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Firefighters / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / epidemiology
  • Leukemia / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors