International studies have shown that in the case of firemen the risk of contracting cancer is significantly higher than in the average for the population as a whole. However, in many countries this is still not recognized as being an occupational illness.
In firefighting operations firemen protect their respiratory tracts and skin from burns with the aid of respirators and protective clothing. However, it has been proved that substances can penetrate the body by means other than via the respiratory tract. As a result of the enormous heat, the skin is up to 400% more receptive and pathogens can penetrate the body through open pores.
Important protective measures
Utilize respiratory equipment continuously from onset of firefighting through to remedial maintance afterwards in order to minimize the risk of inhaling cancer-causing substances
During decontamination remove soot as quickly as possible
Avoid unnecessary contact between contaminated clothing and the skin and, above all, do not take this with you into your living room or bedroom – it has no business there
Ensure that protective clothing is washed regularly and is inspected by a certified body