In March 2018, an international firefighter conference was held in Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss the issue of occupational cancer. The conference was designed to highlight the fact that firefighters, as a result of their work, are exposed to contaminants that cause cancer and other diseases. Representatives from the UK Fire Brigade Union (FBU) attended the conference and reported afterwards that, ‘prevention is possible and, when this fails, compensation is needed’.
‘Clean is the New Tough’
The conference saw leading academics, industry experts and firefighter union representatives discussing how the issues of preventing exposure and campaigns for presumptive legislation are managed around the world. Jim Quinn, FBU Executive Council member for Northern Ireland, described the findings as “dynamite”. After hearing all of the presentations on offer at the conference, Quinn remarked: “Clean is the new tough,” and, subsequently, the FBU promised to “take everything learned from this conference and put it into the campaign to protect members in the UK.”