Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet) - Credit: Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet)
Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 11:42
Amsterdam mayor: Cancer an occupational hazard for firefighters
Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan is calling on the government to recognize cancer as an occupational hazard for firefighters. In a letter to the Amsterdam city council, Van der Laan wrote that more attention is needed on a national level for this matter, AD reports. Various studies have shown that firefighters have an increased risk of cancer due to carcinogenics in smoke entering their bodies through the skin, despite the protection of breathing mask and protective gear. According to the mayor, the Amsterdam fire brigade has taken a "leading role" as capital city brigade on the urgent topic of cancer and diseases by implementing preventative measures. He too wants to make a contributions by putting the issue high on the government's agenda. He will also send letters on the matter to Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice and Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health. The Amsterdam fire brigade has introduced ten measures to reduce exposure to these carcinogenic. These measures include keeping the breathing mask on for three minutes after leaving the burning area, cleaning suits after every fire and rinsing suits and equipment at the scene to prevent carcinogenic substances getting into the vehicles and barracks.