ARIZONA NEWS

UArizona to lead study to reduce risk of cancer in firefighters

Nov 25, 2022, 5:45 AM | Updated: Nov 26, 2022, 2:59 pm

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)...

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fire Department)

PHOENIX — The University of Arizona will soon lead a study to reduce the risk of cancer in firefighters after receiving a $4 million grant, officials said last week.

The funding — granted by the Arizona Board of Regents — will allow researchers to enroll 1,500 firefighters to test if blood or plasma donations lower cancer-causing “forever chemicals” levels (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS).

The study will be in collaboration with Arizona State University and the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association.

“One of this study’s goals is to decrease PFAS levels in firefighters — which we have found to be higher than in the general population,” Dr. Jeff Burgess, UArizona professor and principal investigator for the project, said in a press release.

“Results from a previous study in Australia are encouraging as PFAS levels decreased through blood and plasma donations. We’re expecting similar results here and we will also be studying whether the reduced levels can also decrease disease risks associated with PFAS — research which has not been done before and which we hope will ultimately save more lives among our fire first responders.”

Fire departments and firefighters across the state will be recruited and included in the study alongside the fire districts and cities involved in the research.

Firefighters are exposed to PFAS through burning household items, contamination from personal protective equipment and firefighter foam, according to ABOR. They also have a 9% higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population, according to the release.

“Firefighters face unimaginable risks to save our loved ones, our homes and our communities and cancer is unfortunately one of those risks,” ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson said in the release.

“This study will help us figure out if there are ways to reduce that risk.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Marriott and Westin hotels are collaborating on a new hotel in Phoenix that is expected to be open ...

Bailey Leasure

Marriott, Westin collaborate on dual-branded hotel coming to Phoenix

Marriott and Westin hotels are collaborating on a new hotel in Phoenix that is expected to be open by late 2025.

20 minutes ago

File photo of Phoenix police SUVs parked in front of a metal utility pole. A suspect was arrested A...

KTAR.com

Man arrested after allegedly assaulting Phoenix police during apprehension

A man was arrested after Phoenix police officers intervened in a physical fight on Saturday, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Scottsdale Fire Department was among the groups assisting with "Wildcat Fire" containment over the ...

KTAR.com

Cave Creek Ranger District closed in wake of ‘Wildcat Fire’ containment efforts

The Tonto National Forest issued a monthlong closure of the Cave Creek Ranger District as crews continue to fight the "Wildcat Fire."

6 hours ago

Tempe...

Nick Borgia

Tempe City Council approves new prevailing wage ordinance

Tempe City Council approved the establishment of a prevailing wage ordinance on May 9 with a 5-1 vote. It ensures wage standards for workers.

7 hours ago

Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, recently finished a $150-million, property-wide restora...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Biltmore sold for $705M — the Valley’s largest hospitality deal this year

The Arizona Biltmore, one of the longest-running and most notable resorts in the Valley, is under new ownership and new management.

8 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

UArizona to lead study to reduce risk of cancer in firefighters