Florida Firefighters Receive Decontamination Kits

Florida Firefighters Receive Decontamination Kits

Each decontamination kit contains a 5-gallon bucket, detergents, scrub brushes, spray bottles, and hoses. These materials are used to help emergency responders wash soot and other possible carcinogens from their work gear.

Firefighters stationed near the University of Central Florida in Orange County, Florida, have become the first in Central Florida to receive decontamination kits. The decontamination kits are part of a Florida strategy to decrease firefighter exposure to possible cancer-causing chemicals at fire scenes.

A NIOSH study has shown that firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of cancer diagnosis and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer. Part of the increased risk involves exposure to toxic chemicals released from burning buildings and cars, as well as exposure to the diesel exhaust from fire trucks.

The decontamination kits aim to prevent firefighters from tracking these potentially cancer-causing chemicals into their trucks, firehouses, and living spaces on their work gear. Many of Orange County’s fire stations also have a system in place to prevent a fire engine’s diesel exhaust from settling onto firefighter work gear.

Each decontamination kit contains a 5-gallon bucket, detergents, scrub brushes, spray bottles, and hoses. These materials are used to help emergency responders wash soot and other possible carcinogens from their work gear.

The kits are funded by a $1 million grant, and more than 4,200 kits will be distributed to more than 400 Florida fire departments.

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