The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified occupational exposure as a firefighter as a carcinogen (group 1) for mesothelioma and bladder cancer. This is the conclusion of a monograph carried out last June by 25 scientists from 8 countries, to be published in 2023, the main results of which have been published in “The Lancet Oncology”.
Until then, firefighting was assessed as a possible carcinogen (group 2B, 2007 monograph). Since then, several studies have been published, in particular after the 2001 World Trade Center attack (in 2018 and 2021). The experts relied on a total of 52 cohort and case-control studies, 12 clinical cases and 7 meta-analyses.
While the evidence is considered “sufficient” for mesothelioma and bladder cancer, it is not sufficient for colon, prostate, testicular, melanoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.