Many people know that firefighters are battling fire and smoke when they are called to a house or structure fire, but many do not stop to think about the dangerous toxins that are released into the air. Asbestos is just one of the hazardous substances used to build homes and commercial buildings throughout the United States, putting firefighters at risk every time they are called to a job site.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to serious diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. That is why it is so important for firefighters to protect themselves while on the job. Let’s take a look at three different ways firefighters can protect themselves from asbestos exposure at work:
1) Do not remove the self-containing breathing apparatus while searching for hotspots during the overhaul stage. Just because the fire and smoke have died down does not mean that the air is free of toxins, like asbestos.
2) Do not handle dry dust at the scene of a fire. Trained and certified abatement professionals should be the ones to handle and remove of any asbestos at the site.
3) After fighting a fire, decontaminate yourself. Take a shower and change into clean clothes to avoid bringing any asbestos fibers home with you.
If you are a firefighter, there are other ways to protect yourself from dangerous asbestos within homes, buildings, and other structures. Leave a comment below if you can think of any!
Source: Surviving Mesothelioma