Do I have your attention? Cancer seems to affect so many of us. I am sure you at least know someone that has cancer. Personally, I have had a spouse who has been battling cancer and I have been squeaking by on a variety of medical issues that are cancer related. Today a fine needle biopsy of the thyroid. So why do I bring this up here?
Real simple, if you are reading this you are probably in the fire service, and may have even fought a fire or two. Ok, maybe a few more than that. Here's the deal. We are finding that cancer is very prevalent among firefighters. Thyroid cancer is quickly becoming a concern. Why? Think about this.....you wear your Nomex hood....it collects all the chemicals, most of which are carcinogens in the toxic environment we call smoke....when was the last time you cleaned your hood?
Your thyroid is located in an area that is closest to the skin. Hence, it is susceptible to the permeation of the carcinogens from the hood. So, what do you do....first be sure to get a medical exam every year....use NFPA 1582....be sure to read it as it is more comprehensive then you think....it was how I found out that I had nodules in my thyroid....be sure to do this annually....oh and that hood you wear....wash it! BTW - a number of my colleagues from another department in Florida are dealing with this issue too....so it can happen to you!
If you have a medical issue as a result of firefighting, I challenge you to share it and let us all know what we can do to prevent it from happening to others.....we are NOT invincible....the it can't happen to me is the biggest joke we can play on ourselves, the problem is it may cost you your life....let's hear from you.....
Further reading on the subject