Wipe Away The Risk

Cancer has become an epidemic in the fire service. It is proven that firefighters are exposed to a significant number of toxic carcinogens on the job that can eventually lead to cancer.

In 2013, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network released the White Paper: Taking Action Against Cancer in The Fire Service, which revealed that not only are firefighters being exposed to carcinogens through inhalation, but as well through dermal absorption. Shortly thereafter, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health released a study that drew correlation between firefighting and elevated levels of toxic exposure. 

Over the past several years, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the University of Illinois National Fire Service Institute have made immense strides in research on occupational cancer within the fire service. These two organizations collaborated on a study that tested the levels of permeation/penetration of carcinogenic byproducts in or around personal protective equipment and skin. Through various field tests, researchers were able to find a statistically significant correlation with on scene decontamination and a reduction in carcinogenic exposure. The researchers tested the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) as indications for volatile and nonvolatile substances. Researchers tested the levels of contamination on each particular job assignment consisting of: inside fire attack, inside search, outside command pump operator, outside ventilation and overhaul. Results conclude that cleansing wipes were effective and able to reduce carcinogenic exposure; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon levels on neck skin were reduced by about 54%.

With definitive results from the studies, departments should now be more cognizant of the elevated risk of first responder exposure. On scene decontamination for skin and personal protective equipment is paramount. In order to properly decontaminate the skin, proper care should be exercised towards areas of the body that acquire the most contaminants.

There are known to be five permeable areas of the body that are more susceptible to exposure. These five areas are considered friction points that have blood vessels closest to the skin. These areas naturally accumulate the most soot and should be treated with separate individual wipes to prevent cross contamination. These five areas are labeled as:

1)    The Hands (Including Wrists)
2)    The Face (Including ears)
3)    The Neck (Including Jaw Line)
4)    The Underarms (Armpits)
5)    The Groin Region

Rescue Wipes use only safe and premium ingredients; are latex free, paraben free, MI free, and do not contain alcohol. Our wipes do not leave residue, pull apart or leave a scent. Rescue Wipes are also hypoallergenic and include aluminum-lined packaging to withstand extreme environments and stay preserved over long periods of time.

Use Rescue Wipes to help remove soot and carcinogens from skin and protective equipment in order to help reduce your exposure and overall cancer risk.

Wipe Away the Risk!