European Firefighters Unions Alliance - Risks of dangerous and unknown substances for fire and rescue workers.
On the 5:th of July at: 08:30 - 09:30, Mr. Anders Cederberg, responsible for Health and Safety at Work within European Firefighters Unions Alliance and The Confederations of Swedish Firefighters, lectures the subject: "Risks of dangerous and unknown substances for fire and rescue workers."
Anders was one of the founders of "Healthy Firefighters" in 2006, which won the 2011 European Good Practice Award. Anders has suffered from cancer in 2011 and since then he has worked with the relationship between cancer and his profession as a firefighter. Anders is one of the founders of the Foundation for the Swedish Firefighters Cancer Fund, which was established in 2012. Anders offers an interesting lecture about firefighters and the risk of contamination with dangerous substance.
Firefighters and fire commanders have a high risk to come into contact with dangerous substances. Research shows that the group of firefighters runs an increased risk of suffering from some serious diseases in comparison to the rest of the population (LeMasters et al 2006).
This despite the fact that firefighters, as a group, often have a healthy lifestyle and thus good health. One circumstance that distinguishes firefighters from many other groups is that firefighters are often exposed to situations where both dangerous substances and foreign and unexplained chemical compounds occur.
The contamination of firefighters is both obvious and hidden.
However, it should be assumed that the firefighters themselves can influence their vulnerability. Firefighters should be able to start their rescue work in complete and clean protective clothing, rescue equipment and have the opportunity to protect their breathing pathways and skin in all situations; not just in an accident scene. Mechanical decontamination of protective clothing and other equipment whenever they become contaminated should be also possible.
Routines that separates the contaminated equipment from clean equipment during transport and handling at the fire station are also fundamental.