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Contamination of Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment and Skin and the Effectiveness of Decontamination Procedures

Authored By Kenneth W. Fent, Barbara Alexander, Jennifer Roberts, Shirley Robertson, Christine Toennis, Deborah Sammons, Stephen Bertke, Steve Kerber, Denise Smith & Gavin Horn
Date June 20, 2017
Authored By Kenneth W. Fent, Barbara Alexander, Jennifer Roberts, Shirley Robertson, Christine Toennis, Deborah Sammons, Stephen Bertke, Steve Kerber, Denise Smith & Gavin Horn
Date June 20, 2017
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Firefighters’skin may be exposed to chemicals via permeation/penetration of combustion byproducts through or around personal protective equipment (PPE) or fromthe cross-transfer of contaminants on PPE to the skin. Additionally, volatile contaminants can evaporate from PPE following a response and be inhaled by firefighters. Using polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as respective markers for non-volatile and volatile substances, we investigated the contamination of firefighters’ turnout gear and skin following controlled residential fire responses.

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