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New study points to link between firefighters and cancer

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) A new study is pointing to a link between firefighters and cancer.

The study, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, looked at 30,000 firefighters for nearly 60 years and found their cancer levels were higher than the average persons.

Chicago firefighters are two and a half times more likely to develop mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos. They also have a higher rate of digestive and respiratory cancers and develop kidney, bladder and prostate cancers far younger than the average age of 65.

The cause may be chemicals released when modern day materials burn and are inhaled. They may also be absorbed through the skin, even away from a fire.

New recommendations suggest that firefighters store their gear in a ventilated room and shower immediately after fighting a fire.