Reducing airborne contaminant exposure with fireground tactics

New study provides valuable insights into fireground exposure risks and ways to mitigate them

Posted: Oct. 25, 2018

firefighter with SCBA at a house fire

Many studies have identified cancer-causing risks that firefighters face through exposure to airborne contaminants and particulates on the fireground. A recent research project1 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), UL and the University of Illinois specifically evaluated firefighters’ level of exposure to pollutants at controlled residential fires based on both job assignment and suppression tactics.

Research results

Research takeaways

Learn more about this research

This research article is available through our library by contacting netclrc@fema.dhs.gov.

1Fent, K., Evans, D., Babik, K., Striley, C., Bertke, S., Kerber, S., Smith, D., Horn, G. (2018). Airborne contaminants during controlled residential fires. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 15(5), 399-412.

Further reading

A study published in September 2018 details findings about the danger of toxic exposure to firefighters upwind from a fire. The authors call this the “warm zone” and advise that all firefighters wear respiratory protection in this area, even those who may not be actively involved in suppression.

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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