NFPA issues safety bulletin on firefighter protective hoods

January 27, 2017 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has issued a safety bulletin on firefighter protective hoods.

It is well-documented that firefighter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is exposed to a wide range of toxins, pathogens and other hazardous substances. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), firefighters have a greater number of cancer diagnoses and cancer related deaths.

Firefighter protective hoods are the most penetrable piece of equipment; they do not stop soot and chemicals from depositing on a firefighter’s neck and head – areas that are extremely vulnerable to dermal exposure

“NFPA has had the back of firefighters for more than 120 years,” said Ed Conlin, Public Fire Protection division manager. “Given the increase in occupational cancer incidents in the fire service, we feel it is best to err on the side of caution as we await additional scientific research on PPE and learn more about the absorption of carcinogens near the forehead, jaw, neck and throat.”

The NFPA protective hood bulletin recommends that fire departments establish an overall health and safety program and establish practices for care and maintenance in accordance with NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. For additional information, visit NFPA’s PPE cleaning page.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275