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.
This procedure involves the use of a variety of special equipments and products for the firefighters to clean themselves, their gear, equipment and as well as the fire scene.
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The decontamination equipment gets most of the job done in getting rid of any harmful particles. Priority and care is given to the firefighters themselves as they are the ones who receive the largest amount of exposure on 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. Fire fighters are offered decontamination kits and decon kit refills to help them in decontaminating themselves and their gear on site. 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 one can buy from grocery stores and supermarket can do the job at basic cleaning and getting rid of dirt, soot, and surface grime but are ineffective at the removal of metals, regardless of how hard you wipe and scrub metals will stick on to the skin in a manner unlike germs and dirt so it’s very difficult to get rid of by any other means. 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. Hygenall is one of the companies that manufacture firefighter decon products, this company manufactures cleaning and decontamination products such as special decontamination wipes, surface cleaners, and soaps that will not only get rid of dirt and grime accumulated from the scene but also more than 99% of the the mentioned heavy metal oxides and other metals such as copper, nickel, mercury, arsenic, and etc.
You can see this website if you want to find out more about these decontamination products.