Assessing the Cardiovascular and Chemical Risks Faced by Firefighters

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article Examines the Effectiveness of Decontamination Procedures on Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment and Skin

December 30, 2019

Cover of journal article

The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) Director Stephen Kerber and Research Engineer Gavin Horn authored a peer-reviewed journal article along fellow researchers that was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The "Contamination of firefighter personal protective equipment and skin and the effectiveness of decontamination procedures" focuses on research results from the Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risks in Modern Firefighting study. 

Firefighters' skin may be exposed to chemicals via permeation/penetration of combustion byproducts through or around personal protective equipment (PPE) or from the cross-transfer of contaminants on PPE to the skin. Additionally, volatile contaminants can evaporate from PPE following a response and be inhaled by firefighters. This article details the experiments conducted to investigate the contamination of firefighters’ turnout gear and skin following controlled residential fire responses.

The research for this study was funded by U.S Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency grants. Research was conducted by UL FSRI, IFSI Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Skidmore College.

Access the article here


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