Firefighter Cancer Prevention

By Lieutenant Coby Spear

The skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs chemicals just like taking oral medication.  During a structure fire, firefighters are exposed to carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, aldehydes, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals and dioxins to name a few.

These chemicals cause cancer and firefighters are absorbing these chemicals into their skin during fire scenes. To reduce the risk of cancer, firefighters from the El Dorado Fire Department are sweating out the chemicals after the fire.

The fire department has partnered up with the YMCA to get the chance to detox and rehab after a fire incident has occurred. Watch the Youtube video to see how this process works. The picture of the white towels are an example of what our bodies absorb during a fire. The fireman who used the towels took showers before detoxing in the sauna.

This is the after product of the detox.



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