Firefighter’s Safety and Health – New Suite of Decon and Cleaning Products
The number of firefighters diagnosed with cancer is rising at an alarming rate, so its of utmost importance that you should keep yourself, your team and your department safe from any personal health issues that might arise as direct result of the job. The most effective means of keeping yourself and your team’s health in check is through decontamination procedures that protects firefighters by removing any carcinogens from equipment, gear, fire trucks, and even the fire station.
This decontamination procedure requires the use of special equipment and tools required to aid firefighters in decontamination of themselves, their gear and the site.
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The decontamination equipment gets most of the job done in getting rid of any harmful particles. Firefighters are at greater risk that’s why they are top priority as they are the ones who receive the most exposure inside the fire scene.
As standard operating procedure, firefighters should always decontaminate their gear and themselves before they leave a fire scene to prevent any health issues as well as possible contamination of the environment. The decon procedures or decontamination procedures that firefighters perform include the removal of harmful particles and residue from their turnout gear, FR clothing, and the PPE, as well as from their dermal areas. To help with decontamination on site, firefighters are issued decontamination kits and refill supplies. These kits contain specialized decontamination products such as turnout gear, FR clothing, and PPE cleaning products and sprays as well as decontamination wipes, decon field wipes to remove heavy metal residue from skin as well as other decon gear.
Dirt, soot, and grime can easily be removed by your average super market and grocery store baby wipes but when getting rid of metals however, they are highly ineffective as regardless of how hard and intense you wipe down, metals wont just come off as they stick to the skin differently as opposed to how germs and dirt sticks. Intense burning of materials in the fire scene have the tendency of releasing heavy metal oxides that are virtually invisible to the naked eye such as the heating of stainless steel, ceramics, anti-corrosion coatings and chrome will release hexavalent chromium; and burning paint, carpets, and other household items and decorations will release lead oxide. Companies such as Hygenall make soaps, surface cleaners, and wipes that not only cleans soot, but also gets rid more than more than 99% of the said heavy metal oxides and other metals such as mercury, arsenic, nickel, copper, and etc.
You can see this website for more information regarding decontamination products for firefighters.