Member’s tip for an article

Member’s tip for an article

Our Modernet colleague Sofie Acke send an interesting article for other members. It is recently published by Canadian researchers.

Cancer risk among firefighters and police in the Ontario workforce

I present you with the abstract here. If you click the link underneath, you can download the pdf for free from the publisher’s site.


Objective Firefighters and police often work in high-stress, complex environments with known and suspected carcinogenic exposures. We aimed to characterise cancer incidence among firefighters and police.

Methods The Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) was used to identify workers employed as firefighters or police in Ontario. A cohort of workers was identified using lost-time workers’ compensation claims data and followed for cancer in the Ontario Cancer Registry (1983–2020). Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate HRs and 95% CIs for primary site-specific cancer diagnoses adjusted for age at the start of follow-up, birth year, and sex.

Results A total of 13 642 firefighters and 22 595 police were identified in the cohort. Compared with all other workers in the ODSS, firefighters and police had increased risk of prostate cancer (firefighters: HR=1.43, 95% CI 1.31 to 1.57; police: HR=1.47, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.59), colon cancer (firefighters: HR=1.39, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.63; police: HR=1.39, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.60) and skin melanoma (firefighters: HR=2.38, 95% CI 1.99 to 2.84; police: HR=2.27, 95% CI 1.96 to 2.62). Firefighters also had an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas, testis, and kidney, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia. Police had an increased risk of thyroid, bladder, and female breast cancer. When compared directly with the police, firefighters had an elevated risk of mesothelioma and testicular cancer.

Conclusions Firefighters and police demonstrated some similar as well as some unique cancer risks. Findings from this larger worker population may have important implications for workplace- and policy-level changes to improve preventative measures and reduce potential exposures to known carcinogenic hazards.


Sritharan, J., Kirkham, T. L., MacLeod, J., Marjerrison, N., Lau, A., Dakouo, M., … & Demers, P. A. (2022). Cancer risk among firefighters and police in the Ontario workforceOccupational and Environmental Medicine.



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