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Your gear and Cancer?

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  • Your gear and Cancer?

    I am starting to see more and more topics come up with research stating that the cause of all the cancer is really in our gear and not necessarily the stuff around us getting on to our skin.


    I am reading different studies that the PFAS and PFOA that are cancer causing chemicals are used to make ‘turnout gear’ water resistant in our gear are leaching out and is getting absorbed by our skin membranes causing the cancer.

    I wanted to find out what people on here merely thought about it .

  • #2
    Consider that after a fire and the clean up is done the firefighters climb into their rigs which transfer all the soot from their turnouts onto the seats of the rig as well as filters onto everything back at the station prior to removing your turnouts.
    The fire fighters in turn continue to breath in all that soot during a normal work day. Every time they climb into the rig to even get lunch they are breathing in the soot.

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    • #3
      From the stuff that we have been seeing and reading it is in the gear, as previously stated. The current school of thought is that the gear with all of the contamination offgasses and we breathe it in. We have adopted a much more stringent decon regiment after fires both for our gear and our equipment.
      - We have a bucket with a brush and dish soap to do gross decon after fires.
      -The shift after a fire, after handwashing and a good rinse, the gear gets picked up and washed and dried in the gear washing machines by the bunker gear tech.
      - We have a spare nomex hood so we can have one clean at all times.
      -We keep baby wipes in the trucks to clean our hands, faces, wrists, and necks after fires to lessen the chance or amount of absorption from the contaminants.
      - We have also moved to a strict policy of no fire gear inside the station.

      I have heard that we may move to keeping our packs in other compartments like the old days rather than in the cab. I’ve seen on some of the newer trucks that the manufacturers are putting special compartments with separate air filtration systems for the bunker gear.

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