Cancer Is Killing Firefighters. So This City Is Going PFAS-Free

On the day after Christmas in 2020, San Francisco firefighter Matt Alba had a seizure. At the hospital, doctors discovered a tumor the size of a pear: It was brain cancer. 

It’s a diagnosis that, in Alba’s line of work, is tragically common. Research suggests that firefighters have higher rates of cancer than the general population, including a 26% higher risk for brain cancer. In 2023, nearly three-quarters of active firefighter deaths were due to cancer, the leading cause of death in the profession nationwide.  

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