The number of firefighters diagnosed with cancer is rising at an alarming rate, so its of utmost importance that you should keep yourself, your team and your department safe from any personal health issues that might arise as direct result of the job. The best way of doing this is through decon procedures or decontamination procedures, these procedures are an easy and very effective way of protecting yourself and your team from the harmful carcinogens found in the equipment, gear, fire trucks, and even the station.
This decontamination procedure requires the use of special equipment and tools required to aid firefighters in decontamination of themselves, their gear and the site.
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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.
As standard operating procedure, firefighters should always decontaminate their gear and themselves before they leave a fire scene to prevent any health issues as well as possible contamination of the environment. An example of the decontamination procedures that firefighters perform include getting rid of any harmful particles on their turnout gear, their PPE, and FR clothing; and any residue on their skin or dermal areas. To help with decontamination on site, firefighters are issued decontamination kits and refill supplies. The decontamination kits usually contain decon gear and equipment and personal decontamination products such as turnout gear, FR clothing, and PPE cleaning products and sprays as well as decontamination wipes, decon field wipes and etc.
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 if you want to find out more about these decontamination products.