Several firefighters who responded to the deadly 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London have been diagnosed with terminal cancers.
Close to a dozen firefighters were diagnosed with digestive cancers or leukaemia, which is the Mirror attributes to the firefighters’ work at the Grenfell fire. Many of the firefighters are in their 40s.
According to the paper, others are expected to be diagnosed in years to come.
“We are expecting some really depressing data to be revealed soon. It’s shocking,” a fire department member told the newspaper.
Firefighters depleted their SCBA breathing air and continued to work, while others wore their soot-covered turnout gear for up to 10 hours as they toiled in the 24-story high rise.
Officials said 1,300 firefighters responded worked at the Grenfell site.
In 2019, an investigation found that the soil surrounding the Grenfell site was highly contaminated and could lead to respiratory ailments and cancer.
“On a personal level it’s very worrying. I’ve got two young kids and I want to see them grow up,” said firefighter David Badillo, one of the first firefighters on scene.
“We were quite early on the scene and got held in this underground car park and we were breathing all the toxins for ages,” another firefighter, who did not want to be identified, told the newspaper. He said he now has scarred lungs.
“This vital research proves that firefighters are suffering and dying from cancer, strokes, heart disease, and mental ill health as a result of going to work and protecting the public,”Fire Brigades Union National Official Riccardo la Torre told The Sun.
“We now know that firefighters are exposed to health and life-threatening contaminants as a result of their occupation, and certainly would have been at an incident the size and scale of the Grenfell Tower Fire.
The 24-story tower burned for 60 hours, beginning on on June 14, 2017 and claimed 72 lives.