Study: No link to cancer and PCB oil

July 29, 2005 at 4:35 PM
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BALTIMORE, July 29 (UPI) -- A study of Anne Arundel County, Md., firefighters found no direct link between 17 firefighter cancers and training methods at a fire academy.

Public health researchers have said county firefighters who trained in Millersville Fire Academy between 1971 and 1979 were exposed to cancer-causing PCBs when the Fire Department burned waste oil for exercises, reported the Baltimore Sun Friday.

Johns Hopkins researchers could not say exposure to the burned fuel led to the cancer cases, but they said their study was limited in scope, and they recommended a broader look at cancer cases among the thousands of firefighters who trained at the facility.

The Anne Arundel County firefighters had "somewhat greater" risk of developing cancer than the general public, the researchers said.

The $25,000 10-month study was prompted by current and former firefighters who said cancers among them have swelled. Many more Maryland firefighters trained at the facility, but only Anne Arundel County were included in the study.

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