Understanding firefighter beliefs and behaviors related to cleaning and decontaminating bunker gear after a fire is an essential first step in devising an effective health intervention to reduce risks.
Firefighters face substantial risks of exposure to carcinogens and other toxins. These exposure risks result most often from dermal absorption during a fire or inhalation of off-gassing particles (volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from contaminated bunker gear during removal.
A recent study examined firefighter attitudes, norms and perceived barriers to field decontamination processes. Data for the study was collected from a survey of 482 firefighters from four South Florida fire departments.