Occupational exposures are assumed to play a role in the cancer and cardiovascular
disease risks among firefighters. Limited methodologies exist for monitoring chemical exposures, such as
measuring metabolites in blood and urine, sampling smoke plumes, and having firefighters maintain diaries.
However, the majority of firefighter disease risk studies have used simple surrogates for exposure,
most often just job title. Unfortunately, even the more intensive methods represent an incomplete
assessment of chemical exposure, are cost prohibitive, labor intensive, and often impractical. As a result,
firefighter’s often do not know what chemicals they may have been exposed to at a fire call. Our multidisciplinary
team of researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) has developed a new suite of exposure measurement
technologies and have applied them successfully to answer similar questions in other occupations. We propose to partner with occupational health, epidemiology, and outcomes researchers at the NDRI for Fire, Rescue, and EMS Health Research (CFREHR)
to test the transferability of these technologies to the fire service.
For more information: Abstract