The cancer rates of firefighters are rising at a critical rate, so it’s only natural that you should keep yourself, your team, and department safe and healthy. The best way of protecting yourself and your team from harmful carcinogens is through decontamination procedures, these procedures eliminate any carcinogens that might be lying around on the gear, equipment, the station, and fire trucks.
The decontamination procedure is performed through the use of various special decontamination products and equipments.
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The harmful particles are easily taken care of the decontamination gear and products. The priority is always at the firefighters as they are the ones exposed to any harmful particles and oxides as they go about their job inside the fire scene.
It is very important that fire fighters decontaminate themselves as well as their equipment and gear before they leave a fire scene, this is standard operating procedures. These decon procedures are for example the removal of harmful particles and residue from the external or dermal areas and on the turnout gear, FR clothing, and the PPE. Firefighters are offered on site decon kits and decon kit refill supplies to help with the decontamination procedures. 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.
The average baby wipes found in supermarkets and grocery stores can get the job done when dealing with soot and dirt, it won’t work on metals however as metals stick to your skin like nails on a board, so you can’t clean it down no matter how hard you rub and scrub as it sticks in a different fashion as opposed to germs and dirt. The burning of certain materials release harmful chemicals that are invisible to the naked eye such as heavy metal oxides like hexavalent chromium which can be released from heating stainless steel, ceramics, anti-corrosion coatings, chrome and other industrial materials and another heavy metal oxide which is lead oxide which is released from burning household items, decorations, paint, carpets and etc. Companies such as Hygenall manufactures products such as soaps, surface cleaners and baby wipe like products that are designed to clean soot and as well as more than 99% all of those metal oxides as well as other metals such as mercury, nickel, copper, arsenic and etc.
You can see this website for more information regarding decontamination products for firefighters.