Study Will Test Firefighters for Exposure to Toxins in North Bay Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS/AP) — Researchers are studying whether firefighters suffered any toxic exposure in last month’s deadly Northern California wildfires.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday that researchers plan to take blood and urine samples from 200 firefighters for the study.

UC Berkeley has collected blood and urine samples from some 175 firefighters who were battling wildfires in the North Bay as part of a study by the state health department into what types of toxic chemicals the first responders were exposed to.

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier in Sunday’s Matier and Ross column says the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation put up $100,000 to help fund the study.

The foundation’s leader, Tony Stefani, says climate change is increasing both the length of the fire season and the number of major fires in California, putting firefighters at greater risk from more than the dangerous chemicals typically found in furniture and other household goods.

He says more than 250 San Francisco firefighters have died from cancer since the city’s fire union helped create its nonprofit cancer prevention foundation in 2006.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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