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EMS News in Focus
by Arthur Hsieh

The right research for determining risks we face

Too many of us have either directly experienced a cancer or other disease that could be related to work

By Arthur Hsieh

Research is a long, arduous process. Often filled with limitations and concerns beyond the control of the researchers, it's sometimes hard to draw any meaningful conclusions.

This particular report is classic for trying to quantify health concerns that would seem to be self-evident, at first.

Other studies have also tried to tie rates of cancer of public safety providers to the exposure experienced in the days following the 9/11 attacks.

Especially for those of us who work in the fire service, we have to advocate for well-designed, well-controlled studies that will definitively provide data on disease risk associated with daily exposures in the workplace.

Too many of us have either directly experienced a cancer or other disease that could be related to work.

Yet it's been a nightmare to have the incredible costs of care covered by workers compensation.

I suspect that some governments simply capitulate to provide coverage simply to save the money of litigation.

That's not right either; the research to find the links will help us avoid the issues entirely through prevention and mitigation methods. That benefits everyone.

About the author

EMS1 Editorial Advisor Art Hsieh, MA, NREMT-P currently teaches at the Public Safety Training Center, Santa Rosa Junior College in the Emergency Care Program. Since 1982, Art has worked as a line medic and chief officer in the private, third service and fire-based EMS. He has directed both primary and EMS continuing education programs. Art is a textbook author, has presented at conferences nationwide, and continues to provide patient care at an EMS service in Northern California. Contact Art at
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