New Protocols Help Protect Albany County Firefighters from Cancer
Firefighters risk their lives every day as they run into burning buildings to save people, but the fire isn't the only thing that poses a health risk to these brave heroes. Residue that contains cancer-causing particles gets on the firefighters' garments, and if they aren't properly decontaminated, then the firefighter is potentially exposed to cancerous materials.
The unburden particles that are in the smoke will be soot and particular matter on your gear, it contains materials that we know, like benzene, that are known carcinogens, and that as we put on our gear, if that’s not cleaned off, we’re repeating that exposure and that repeat exposure can increase firefighters’ risk of cancer. -James Cable, Office of Fire Prevention and Control State Administrator (Briana Supardi, CBS 6 Albany)
Cable explains how this new method of decontamination is especially important as we continuously see less natural products in homes like wood and cotton based materials, and are starting to see more synthetic materials like plastics that can give off harsh chemicals when burned (WIVBTV via YouTube).
Watch How Firefighters Decontaminate Their Gear
The state government will be giving fire departments around NY handy decontamination kits to help reduce the risk of cancer. This new method of decontamination is supposed to remove a whopping 85% of contaminants, according to the state (WIVBTV via YouTube). Hopefully, we will see a steady decline in the rate of firefighter cancer patients, so these heroes can continue to do their life-saving work.