Boston Fire Department

Center researchers partnered with the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Firefighters Local 718 to examine factors in a fire station that may impact firefighter cancer risk. As a first step, the Center’s team completed a pilot study on fire station air quality.

Results showed that on average, contaminant levels were higher in truck bays than outside the station or in station kitchens. The study also found that air quality levels in truck bays varied considerably throughout the day. Building age, station layout, and ventilation all appeared to impact contaminant levels. Findings were published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Currently, our team is examining how other aspects of the fire station, including organizational, environmental, and behavioral factors, may influence firefighter health. This work will inform a future Total Worker Health® intervention aimed at reducing cancer-related risk factors at the fire station.

The Boston Globe, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Harvard Gazette all featured stories on this collaborative research initiative.