Risk of cancer among firefighters in California, 1988-2007

Rebecca J. Tsai, Sara E. Luckhaupt, Pam Schumacher, Rosemary D Cress, Dennis M. Deapen, Geoffrey M. Calvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background: Most studies of firefighter cancer risks were conducted prior to 1990 and do not reflect risk from advances in building materials. Methods: A case-control study using California Cancer Registry data (1988-2007) was conducted to evaluate the risk of cancer among firefighters, stratified by race. Results: This study identified 3,996 male firefighters with cancer. Firefighters were found to have a significantly elevated risk for melanoma (odds ratio [OR]=1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-2.1), multiple myeloma (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-1.8), acute myeloid leukemia (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-2.0), and cancers of the esophagus (OR 1.6; 95%CI 1.2-2.1), prostate (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.3-1.7), brain (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.2-2.0), and kidney (OR 1.3; 95%CI 1.0-1.6). Conclusions: In addition to observing cancer findings consistent with previous research, this study generated novel findings for firefighters with race/ethnicity other than white. It provides additional evidence to support the association between firefighting and several specific cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-729
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Firefighters
  • Occupation
  • Registry
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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