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San Francisco Firefighters Deal With Cancer Prevention

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A San Francisco Fire Department fire engine. (CBS)

A San Francisco Fire Department fire engine. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/KCBS) — There’s a high rate of cancer among the San Francisco Fire Department’s rank and file, but special washing machines have now been purchased as a way to address the health issue.

The machines can remove carcinogens from turnout gear, the name commonly used by firefighters when referring to their coats and pants.

Tony Stefani, president of the Firefighters’ Cancer Prevention Foundation, said the department only has one machine because of budget constraints.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

He added that the toxic chemicals are permeating the clothing of the firefighters during the overhaul process and the off gassing of chemicals and can stay for a long time.

The foundation has been screening for the early detection of cancer and is now taking steps to prevent it by working to raise the funds for practically all the stations in the city to get one of the washing extractors, according to Stefani.

$38,000 for the machines comes from the rank and file donations to the foundation.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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