Occupational Cancer

Fire fighter occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty death in the fire service.

Explore our proactive measures and ongoing initiatives aimed at safeguarding the health and well-being of our members across the United States and Canada from this urgent threat.


PFAS, or per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, is a large family of artificial chemicals used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. PFAS is used in fire fighter turnout gear and poses an unnecessary occupational threat. The IAFF is actively working on behalf of members to pursue next-generation, toxin-free protective gear.

Presumptive Health Initiative

Find out about cancers covered in your state/province under presumptive care, along with behavioral health, heart disease, infectious disease, and lung disease.

Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month

In partnership with the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN), the IAFF has designated January as Fire Fighter Cancer Awareness Month to provide fire fighters the necessary tools and guidance to develop life-saving protocols for cancer prevention and to support those with a cancer diagnosis within their departments.

Cancer Awareness Course

Cancer in the Fire Service: Fundamentals provides information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of cancer, seeking early detection and treatment, and supporting fire fighters who have been diagnosed.

This free, 30-minute e-learning course is available in both English and French.

what to do after a cancer diagnosis

Being diagnosed with cancer is an overwhelming experience as it becomes the focal point of your life for an undetermined amount of time. Navigating this journey can be difficult, and feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are common. Here are some resources to support you or a loved one during a cancer diagnosis.

American Cancer Society

As part of a mutual desire to help fire fighters and emergency medical workers impacted by cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Association of Fire Fighters are working together to fight cancer in the fire service.

The IAFF-ACS collaboration will provide new resources, tools, and prevention techniques to help protect fire fighters with the hope of preventing future diseases, while providing critical patient support services across the country to improve the quality of life for fire fighters living with cancer and advocating for improved access to care.

NIOSH Firefighter Cancer Study

In 2010, the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers, with funding assistance from the U.S. Fire Administration, launched a multi-year study to examine whether fire fighters have a higher risk of cancer and other causes of death due to job exposures. The study was designed to address the limitations of previous fire fighter cancer research.

National Firefighter Registry

Following the passage of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act in July 2018, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now directed to collect detailed data on cancer in fire fighters. The ultimate goal of the registry is to better understand the link between workplace exposures and cancer among fire fighters, with the potential to provide a better understanding of cancer risk among under-represented populations of fire fighters.