The Fire Protection Research Foundation has a new research project underway to clarify contaminant removal from fire fighters’ personal protective equipment (PPE). This project is titled: Investigation of Turnout Clothing Contamination and Validation of Cleaning Procedures – Phase 1.
While general cleaning procedures have been established in NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, more science is needed to support, clarify and enhance those procedures to ensure optimum contaminant removal.
This issue is of serious concern to today’s fire service community, particularly as cancer - a leading concern for fire fighter health – is presumably linked to fireground exposures and associated PPE contamination.
The first phase of the Foundation project focuses on gathering information and data to identify and characterize persistent contaminants in fire fighter PPE. An RFP was recently issued (with a due date of 8/May) and the final report on Phase 1 is scheduled for late 2015.