Around 12 firefighters who fought the deadly Grenfell Tower fire have reportedly been diagnosed with rare cancers as a result of high levels of contamination during the rescue effort.
Experts are concerned that there could be more than 20 cases linked to the west London fire in June 2017, which killed 72 people. According to a Mirror investigation, the majority of diseases diagnosed among crews are digestive cancers and leukemia, both of which have no cure.
Grenfell Tower was one of the worst disasters in modern British history. Leena Belkadi, six months old, died in her mother’s arms as she tried to flee the 24-story building. Because some cancers can take up to 25 years to manifest themselves, both firefighters and survivors have been summoned for health screenings.
Cancer-causing chemicals were found in high concentrations in soil, debris, and charred samples of insulation boards used on the tower. During the fire, firefighters were forced to wait in the smoke-filled basement of the building for up to six hours. Many others spent more than ten hours in their contaminated suits.
Overview Of Research
According to research conducted by the Fire Brigades Union and the University of Central Lancashire, crews who remain in their protective equipment for more than four hours after a fire are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
“Firefighters must be able to attend any incident without the anxiety of a cancer diagnosis looming over them,” said Riccardo la Torre of the Fire Brigades Union. It is past time for the government and fire service employers to take this issue seriously.”
We need immediate action in the form of prevention, health monitoring, and medical and financial support in memory of every firefighter who has died as a result of these terrible diseases.”
Words from London Fire Brigade
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Our firefighters must be as safe as possible when doing their jobs and we are currently involved in two studies to investigate the possible impact of contaminants on health, including one directly linked to the Grenfell Tower fire.
“All firefighters and officers who attended Grenfell have been invited to take part in the research project, which carefully monitors their health even after they retire or leave the service. Staff also have access to our occupational health service to support them through periods of ill health.”
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