“Don’t Be Me”

A former firefighter’s testimonial regarding his experiences with obtaining an occupational disease.


Your Hood

Jul 15, 2017: And lastly, while I do not have any data to back this up currently, some comments were made to me last week regarding some firefighters in one pretty large, busy Western department that have an increased amount of thyroid cancer.

In that discussion, one theory is concern over firefighters not washing their protective hoods after fire calls. In other words, the built up soot on a hood (like any of our PPE) from fires that is remaining on the hood-and then lingering where we sweat, and being absorbed in that area (neck and head) where we have thin skin, may very well be suspect.

If you recall, earlier this year, University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields. A significant part of that study looked at PPE, what we have now, how we use it, how we maintain/clean it and what should be used by firefighters in the future.

The researchers found, for example, that firefighters are twice as likely to develop testicular cancer and have significantly higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer than non-firefighters. The researchers also confirmed previous findings that firefighters are at greater risk for multiple myeloma.

When I heard the hood comments from the firefighters, I just thought it was worth passing on here as a reminder that firefighting hoods have to be cleaned after every run…and whatever else the NFPA and manufacturer recommends. It can’t hurt.

All the crap that is off-gassed from burning while we operate at any kind of fire call-and then applied directly to our skin…can’t be good.

Click here for more on the issue.

Take Care — BE CAREFUL,

Billy G
The Secret List 7-11-07 / 0802 hours