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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are joining forces to study the high number of cancer affecting firefighters.

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CBS4 Chief Investigator Michele Gillen has reported extensively on the link in a series of reports called “The Silent Killer.”

The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami is kicking-off what is called a groundbreaking, four-part initiative to root out some answers.

Click here to watch Michele Gillen’s report. 

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Dr. Albert Caban Martinez, Professor of Public Health Sciences, says the initiative is teaming up Sylvester Cancer experts and researchers with Miami-Dade Firefighters including new recruits to begin tracking their health, their health care and exposures to possible carcinogens on the job.

“More recently we started learning that there are some things in the work environment that might be increasing their risk to cancer.” says Caban Martinez.

A critical look will be taken at personal protective gear. As CBS4 has been exclusively reporting, research and tests are underway to evaluate what protection the gear offers.

“We are trying to understand how personal protective equipment  affects the firefighters. We know that after they are doing a response we know that a lot of the contaminants that they are exposed to actually stays on their personal equipment,” details Caban Martinez.

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The steps and research is applauded by many firefighters.