Firefighters are often exposed to hazardous smoke and chemicals. This puts them at a high risk of developing cancer.
According to the CDC, firefighters are at a higher risk of cancer than the general population. This is because they’re continually exposed to hazardous smoke and chemicals, which can cause cancer. Below we take a closer look at cancer among firefighters and explain how you can seek compensation for your condition.
Common Cancers Among Firefighters
1. Respiratory Cancers
When fighting fires in old buildings, asbestos particles from drywall and roofing materials may be disturbed and become airborne. Unfortunately, inhaling asbestos puts you are at an overwhelmingly high risk of suffering the following types of respiratory cancer:
Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
This type of cancer is characterized by a malignant tumor on the pleural lining of your lungs. When you have mesothelioma, you may experience chest pain, severely painful cough, and difficulty breathing.
Research suggests that asbestos-related cancer kills more than 6,000 Americans per year. Sadly, as a firefighter, you fall in the category of workers who are continually exposed to asbestos and other toxic chemicals such as radon, carbon monoxide, and lead which put you at an increased risk of lung cancer.
2. Digestive Cancer
Carcinogenic chemicals can also find their way into your body through ingestion. And when they do, irreparable damage can follow – you could develop liver, small intestine, esophagus, stomach, colon, or pancreatic cancer.
3. Skin Cancers
As a firefighter, you’re at a higher risk of developing life-changing skin cancer. How so? Well, when you are fighting a fire, you may be exposed to carcinogenic chemicals such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), which may alter your skin structure and cause cancer.
4. Hematological Cancers
Inhaling toxic fumes in your job’s scope puts you at a heightened risk of hematological cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, or lymphoma, which weaken your immune system and expose you to other diseases.
Are you a firefighter and have suffered work-related cancer? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, it’s rarely as simple and easy as it sounds.
First, the insurance company may claim your condition is not work-related and deny your claim. In addition, even when there’s evidence that your condition is work-related, the insurance company may try to lowball you and trick you into receiving a low settlement.
An experienced St. Louis work injury attorney can help prove you developed your illness due to your work and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
St. Louis Work Injury Attorney
At the Law Office of James. M. Hoffmann, we are ready to sit down with you, discuss your work-related illness and assess how it has impacted your life. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
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