AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

09877 Mesothelioma CT 270x300 Mesothelioma Risk For Fire fighters And What You Can DoFire-fighting is a very dangerous job that involves a lot of organisation, risk and teamwork. The role of a fire-fighter is to respond as quickly as possible to an emergency call, put out the fire and care for anyone who might have been injured in the fire. Their first priority is to save lives; then it is to reduce property damage as much as possible.

Whenever a fire-fighter goes into a burning building, they put themselves at risk. The damaged structures, such as the walls, floors and ceilings, can collapse and cave in. Also the danger of being in close proximity with the fire is very real for fire-fighters.

A significant job-related health risk for fire-fighters is exposure to asbestos and the long term complications associated with this. Many buildings which were built before the 1970s and 1980s were constructed with materials that contain asbestos. This could include roofing materials, cement, fume hoods, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, duct installation, shingles, furnace door gaskets and vinyl. When fire-fighters are entering a building that is in flames, these materials are being destroyed all around them and they are at a very high risk for breathing in microscopic asbestos fibres.

Also, when fire-fighters return to the fire station after a call, they will still have dust on their gear from the building which can build up in the fire station and provide more risk for asbestos exposure.

One of the dangers associated with asbestos exposure is that it increases your risk for a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma. This deadly cancer can sometimes take 10, 20 or even 50 years to appear, but when it does it poses a very serious health threat.

If you or someone that you know is a fire-fighter who is working in this dangerous environment, then you should know what can be done to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.

Being Aware

Of course, the first step to protecting your own health is to be aware of your risk and arm yourself with information. The more you know about the risks of asbestos and mesothelioma, the more you can incorporate safe practices into your work.

Monitor Your Health

All fire-fighters should keep a close eye on their health and regularly monitor themselves for any symptoms that could be related to mesothelioma. The early symptoms of this disease are very mild and they usually include fatigue and a slight painful feeling around the tumour itself. As these symptoms are not very noticeable, many people ignore them or fail to recognise them. However, if you can keep a close eye on your health you will be able to catch these symptoms early on.

Wearing the Right Gear

With the knowledge of the risks of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, it is very important that fire-fighters wear the right protective gear during their job. If you are entering a collapsing or burning building and you are not wearing the proper respiratory gear, you might inhale some airborne asbestos particles.

Most of the protective equipment used by fire-fighters will eliminate the risk of inhaling asbestos fibres. However, it is important to remember that building materials that contain asbestos can continue to release these asbestos fibres into the air long after the flames have been extinguished. Even then the debris is still in the cooling down stage; the risk can still be there. This is why fire-fighters should wear self-contained breathing apparatus even after the fire has been put out so that they can avoid inhaling asbestos.

Asbestos can be a serious health danger, so take responsibility for your health and be aware of the risks.

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Written by Emily Starr. Emily Starr is a writer who understands the risks that fire-fighters face in their careers. Therefore it is important that they know what they can do to reduce their exposure to asbestos fibres and the risk of mesothelioma lung cancer.


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