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Recommendations for Developing and Implementing a Fire Service Contamination Control Campaign

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: “Recommendations for Developing and Implementing a Fire Service Contamination Control Campaign”
Authors: Jeff Stull, Peg Paul, Julie Reynolds, Marni Schmid, and Robert Tutterow
Date of issue: February 2018


There has been growing concern among the fire and life safety community that repeated exposures to harmful contamination is likely causing increased rates of cancer in fire fighters. This includes at the fire scene and the subsequent post fire scene exposures to contaminated clothing, tools, apparatus, and stations.

A strong need exists to determine the broad contamination hazards that exist throughout the fire service, and gaps in how contamination is addressed similarly need to be identified. Contamination has broader negative effects on health than just cancer. A number of other chronic health disorders could be related to broad, continuing chemical and biological exposures. This problem has not been resolved and needs to be further addressed. 

In support of this project, a two day workshop was held on 19-20 July 2017 in Columbus Ohio to address this topic. The results of that specific effort are available in separate Workshop Proceedings. The Workshop discussion and related information are partially reflected within this final project report.