Decontamination and Cleaning Products for Firefighters

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 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 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 decontamination equipment gets most of the job done in getting rid of any harmful particles. Firefighters are at greater risk that’s why they are top priority as they are the ones who receive the most exposure inside the fire scene.

It is an important standard operating procedure that firefighters should always decontaminate themselves prior to leaving the fire scene. 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. Turnout gear, FR clothing, and PPE cleaning products and sprays as well as decontamination wipes, decon field wipes and other gear such as cleaning hoses and etc are examples of what’s inside these decontamination kits.

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. Intense burning of materials in the fire scene have the tendency of releasing heavy metal oxides that are virtually invisible to the naked eye such as the heating of stainless steel, ceramics, anti-corrosion coatings and chrome will release hexavalent chromium; and burning paint, carpets, and other household items and decorations will release lead oxide. Companies such as Hygenall make soaps, surface cleaners, and wipes that not only cleans soot, but also gets rid more than more than 99% of the said heavy metal oxides and other metals such as mercury, arsenic, nickel, copper, and etc.

You can find more information about these decontamination products here!

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