When you work as a Georgia firefighter, you face many on-the-job risks. Certain chemical-filled products may pose a particular threat to you when they burn. As a firefighter, you also face a heightened chance of dying from cancer in comparison to the rest of the population. Your risk of developing mesothelioma is especially high.
According to FireRescue1, 70% of all line-of-duty deaths among firefighters involve cancer. While there are many substances you may come in contact with as a firefighter that may increase your chance of cancer, asbestos is among the most dangerous.
Recognizing asbestos dangers
The dangers associated with asbestos have become well-documented through the years. Yet, many older homes and buildings still contain asbestos, creating threats for firefighters when they burn. Known to cause mesothelioma, which is a rare, aggressive cancer with a 12% five-year survival rate, asbestos may be present in certain home goods, among them crock pots, blow dryers and similar products.
Reducing asbestos dangers
Always wearing proper protective equipment is essential in reducing your mesothelioma risk. Make sure, too, to wash your hands, body, clothing and protective gear as quickly as possible after use. Asbestos exposure often occurs through inhalation or skin absorption, so cleaning yourself and your gear promptly is critical. Also, avoid keeping your firefighting gear in your car or near where you live and sleep.
Firefighting may be rewarding, but it is also a career that comes with risks. By being aware of these risks and working to reduce them, you may be able to lower your chances of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease.