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 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 decon equipment and products work well in getting rid of the 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. 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. Firefighters are offered on site decon kits and decon kit refill supplies to help with the decontamination procedures. 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.
Dirt, soot, and grime can easily be removed by your average super market and grocery store baby wipes but when getting rid of metals however, they are highly ineffective as regardless of how hard and intense you wipe down, metals wont just come off as they stick to the skin differently as opposed to how germs and dirt sticks. 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. 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 find more information about these decontamination products here!