U.S. Fire Administrator’s Summit on Fire Prevention and Control 2023

Firefighter Cancer

U.S. Fire Administration
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Establish a comprehensive firefighter cancer strategy that invests in research, provides access to cancer screening for firefighters, and reduces and eliminates PFAS exposure.

Key Firefighter Cancer Downloads


Firefighters have a 9% higher risk of developing cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer compared to the general public.

Prior the 2022 Summit, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) rated a firefighter’s occupational exposure at its highest level, a “Class 1 threat carcinogenic to humans1.” The IARC Working Group cited other findings, including “sufficient evidence” to connect the occupational exposures associated with firefighting with mesothelioma and bladder cancer. They also found “limited evidence” to link firefighting and colon, prostate, and testicular cancer.

IARC’s designation is a game-changing opportunity to further consolidate hard-won gains in research and knowledge into profound impacts.

1 International Agency for Research on Cancer. Volume 132: Occupational exposure as a firefighter. Lyon, France; June 7–14, 2022.