Fighting cancer in firefighters

American Hero

(NewsNation) — Occupational cancer is the leading cause of death for first responders. The International Association of Firefighters is hoping to raise awareness about the risks they face to help others.

January is firefighter cancer awareness month. Dr. Danny Whu told NewsNation the materials that are used in everyday objects can become toxic during a fire.

“When we enter a fire grounds, and the products or combustion of today are a lot more synthetic manmade materials that burn hotter and more toxic. We all need to be aware of these hazards,” he said.

He said changes have been made to protect firefighters over history, introducing more protective gear like gloves and masks. Being aware of the risks of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals is the next step.

“You have to realize we’re going to an environment that everybody’s running out of, and the products of combustion are toxic and lethal,” Whu said.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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