Flame-retardant contamination of PPE a potential health risk

Posted: April 13, 2017

Several research studies have shown that chemical contaminants accumulate on firefighter personal protective clothing with continuing usage. These contaminants may contribute to firefighters’ high rates of certain cancers and their increased risk of coronary heart disease.

firefighter gear

One recent study shows that polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant chemicals can be present in unused firefighter personal protective gear, and that levels of PBDE contamination are much higher in fire-worn gear. PBDEs are considered possible carcinogens, as well as causing other adverse health effects.

Research takeaways

Source: Flame-retardant contamination of firefighter personal protective clothing — A potential health risk for firefighters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Vol 13 (September) 2016.

Learn more about this research

This research article is available through our library by contacting netclrc@fema.dhs.gov. Interested readers may be able to access the article through their local library or through the publisher’s website.

See also: Safety alert: Take care to clean protective hoods

This summary is for informational purposes only. More +
As such, the content does not reflect any official positions, policies, or guidelines on behalf of the sender, the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, DHS, nor any other federal agencies, departments or contracting entities. Similarly, this summary does not represent in any manner an official endorsement or relationship to any private or public companies, organizations/associations, or any authors or individuals cited or websites associated within the article.

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