Cinnaminson, New Jersey, January 20, 2023
The U.S. Fire Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) both report that cancer is a leading cause of death among firefighters. The agencies also share that research suggests firefighters are at higher risk of certain types of cancers when compared to the general population.
According to NIOSH:
Firefighting settings are complex and contain various hazardous substances. Firefighters can be exposed to hundreds of different chemicals in the form of gases, vapors, and particulates. Some of these chemical substances are known or suspected to cause cancer. Some of these hazardous substances are byproducts of combustion or burning, such as benzene and formaldehyde. Others come from the materials burning or in the fire debris, such as asbestos from older structures.
“To bring attention to this issue, the month of January is designated as Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Educating firefighters and providing the proper training is important for mitigating exposure risks. Air monitoring, along with material and environmental testing, can also help to prevent exposure to hazardous substances such as chemicals, lead and asbestos. Even for those firefighters wearing protective clothing, known as turnout gear, if it is not adequately cleaned or stored after a fire response or training event, chemicals on the gear or equipment can contaminate vehicles and the fire station. Reusing dirty turnout gear or respiratory protection can also result in exposure to hazardous substances.”
In the United States and Canada, fire service members and departments can turn to the material, environmental and industrial hygiene testing experts at EMSL Analytical for help. Their laboratories offer testing services for asbestos, lead, smoke residues, gases, particulate matter, chemicals and even microbial hazards. They also provide sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE), including respirators and respirator fit testing supplies. Last year, EMSL even sponsored an educational video about firefighters and occupational exposure risks to dermal and respirable hazards that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/_5YE-L0Z7xc
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, material, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. For access to asbestos, lead or other test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.