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Study to See if Officers' Cancers Linked to Meth Labs

June 14, 2006 - Utah

The Utah Labor Commission has taken a step toward finding out if firefighters and police officers with cancer and other ailments developed the diseases because of hazards associated with their jobs.  If the study proves the suspected link, affected public safety officers would be eligible for workers compensation benefits if they develop a disease involved in the study.

There is no empirical evidence at this point to prove the cause and effect.  But, the chairman of the International Association of Fire Chiefs' safety, health and survival section says, "Too many folks are dying on the job and from it. We can't prove it yet, but we have anecdotes everywhere suggesting firefighters are getting cancer at higher rates than the general population."

In Utah, 84 current and former law enforcers who all were exposed to Meth labs during the course of their careers became sick or died.  One former narcotics officer had a kidney, gallbladder and a rib removed after he was diagnosed with cancer.  He believes his cancer was contracted through years of walking unsuspectingly into homes contaminated with chemicals from Meth production.  He knew something wasn't right when he'd look at his clothes the morning following a bust and find the chemicals had left his shirt in ribbons and were eating his shoes. 

READ FULL STORY FROM Deseret Morning News

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