Should NFPA develop an all-new standard on PPE contaminant control or roll the requirements into NFPA 1581?
The NFPA Standards Council has received a New Project Initiation Request from the fire service asking NFPA consider developing an ANSI Accredited Standard to establish the minimum requirements for the effective contamination control of fire department personal, their personal protective equipment (PPE), accessories, and equipment.
Firefighter health risks associated with PPE contaminant exposure reflects one of the most pressing concerns within the fire service. A number of organizations, including the Fire Protection Research Foundation, continue working to identify methods for adequately cleaning firefighter gear and mitigating those risks.
As a result of multiple efforts, including “Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control” – a one-year project conducted by the Fire Protection Research Foundation that's nearing its completion – we now have some answers. The next step is identifying how to best deliver those requirements, guidelines and recommendations in our codes and standards.
Two options are currently on the table: NFPA can develop an all-new contamination control standard, which identifies best practices for cleaning PPE, as well as how gear should be handled after possible exposure to contaminants. Alternatively, the information could be rolled into our existing standard, NFPA 1581, Standard on Fire Department Infection Control Program.
To make the decision that best reflects the fire service's needs and preferences, we need to hear from you! Tell us if you think this issue warrants its own standard or should be addressed in NFPA 1581. Feel free to share your thoughts in this blog, but remember it is important that you provide your feedback through our technical process so that your voice is heard and officially weighed into the Standards Council's final decision.