Did you know that firefighters are some of those most at risk for developing the fatal cancer, mesothelioma? Although firefighters do not often handle asbestos – the only known cause of mesothelioma – they can be exposed when fighting fires in older homes containing asbestos materials and products.
When a fire breaks out or a building collapses, asbestos dust can become a serious hazard. If asbestos-containing materials like insulation, ceiling tiles, plasters, and more were already in a friable state, the danger escalates.
If they are not wearing a proper “self-contained breathing apparatus,” (SCBA) firefighters risk breathing in asbestos fibers which can become trapped within their bodies, eventually leading to mesothelioma. Oftentimes, firefighters take off their SCBA after the fire is under control, unaware of the dangers still lurking in the air around them.
If you or someone you love is a firefighter, be aware of the risk of asbestos exposure on the job. Your employer is required to keep you safe from these types of serious dangers.