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Firefighters Exposed to Asbestos Fibers

There are several occupations in which asbestos exposure is still a serious problem on the job. Firefighters are some of those most at risk for coming into contact with the substance while at work. But why?


Firefighters often work to put out large blazes in commercial and residential buildings. Since asbestos materials were used in construction materials and consumer products up until the 1970s, older structures are likely to be contaminated with the substance in insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles, and more.

Firefighters run the risk of breathing in asbestos fibers as they mix with smoke and debris in the air. Proper respiratory protection should be used to protect firefighters from airborne asbestos particles. Despite modern precautions like this, our firefighters today are still classified as having a high asbestos-related disease risk.

Fire stations built before the 1980s may also contain asbestos-containing materials. Firefighters who work, live, and sleep in the stations are constantly at risk for facing asbestos exposure.

Want more information on firefighters and asbestos exposure? See the Firefighters page within our list of High-Risk Occupations.

Sources: 1 & 2

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