Montreal fire department moves to reduce cancer risk for firefighters

The Montreal fire department is introducing new measures this year to further mitigate the risk of firefighters developing job-related cancers.

A "zero tolerance policy" was introduced in 2016 that requires firefighters to always wear their full turnout gear including masks and respirators when responding to calls.

La Presse reports that the fire department director Bruno Lachance will also issue a directive requiring firefighters to clean their clothing and equipment after every fire with soap and water and brushes.

Once a year the gear will be sent to a professional cleaner for a more thorough job.

Recent studies indicate that firefighters are increasingly exposed to toxic smoke from burning computers, plastics, treated wood and flame retardants.

Between 2002 and 2018, 109 Montreal firefighters filed for compensation for cancers they claimed were job related.