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IARC Monographs evaluate the carcinogenicity of occupational exposure as a firefighter

Lyon, France, 1 July 2022 – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), has evaluated the carcinogenicity of occupational exposure as a firefighter.

A Working Group of 25 international experts, including 3 Invited Specialists, from 8 countries was convened by the IARC Monographs programme for a meeting in Lyon.

After thoroughly reviewing the available scientific literature, the Working Group classified occupational exposure as a firefighter as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), on the basis of sufficient evidence for cancer in humans.

A summary of the final evaluations has now been published online in The Lancet Oncology.1 The detailed assessment will be published in 2023 as Volume 132 of the IARC Monographs.


Additional Article from the
Fire Brigades Union

In the UK the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has led on research into the links between cancer and firefighting, and best practice that can help mitigate the potential risks from fire contaminants. This has included commissioning and working with UCLan on their independent research, which includes a Firefighters Cancer and Disease Registry, and using that research to produce best practice training for firefighters.

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