4 Most Common Carcinogens

A recent study found that 61% of line of duty deaths are cancer-related.

Most firefighters understand their highest risk of carcinogens come from working on fire-grounds, especially with the newer materials used in homes – many of which are oil-based and release all kinds of toxins when burned. Interestingly, the second leading cause of cancer in the fire service was from diesel engine exhaust.

The three most common ways that firefighters can combat diesel exhaust are:

1. A Plymovent system or any other ventilation system. This system allows for a temperature-rated hose to be connected to the exhaust of any vehicle. The system not only directs the harmful exhaust but also uses a vacuum to expel all carcinogens outside of the bays. Although the most expensive route of the three, it is the most effective.

2. A NoSmoke system. This is a built-in filter that attempts to remove all harmful carcinogens from the exhaust.

3. When checking vehicles, remove the vehicle from the bays and make sure the bay doors are closed to stop exhaust from entering the bays. Although this is the cheapest way, it is not the most effective. The exhaust will still be expelled when starting or parking vehicles in the bay. Make sure to ventilate bays after the use of the vehicle.