Posted: September 20th, 2022
more details in text
USE THESE SOURCE SITE IN APA!
Running head: Hidden hazards of firefighting 1
Hidden hazards of firefighting 8
Alexis S. Jones
PUBH 5020- Environmental Justice Paper
Tennessee State University
Most people think that a firefighter is just someone who fights fires, but they do a lot more than just that. Firefighters work as paramedics, rescue victims from buildings, emergency evacuation, car accidents and more.
Firefighters are also rescue responders, when you think of rescue you think of fire rescue, however they are all around helpers. They provide emergency evacuation for wildfires, bomb threats, animal or person stuck, and many medical crises such as car accidents. Every firefighter is trained in basic life support and their paramedics are the first ones to greet you at the scene of an accident. They come equipped with the tools needed to save victims no matter if it is getting into crushed vehicles with their tools or providing the victims with medical care. Without firemen a lot of task that you pay no mind too are usually handled by a firefighting team no matter how tedious it is.
There are many hazards that come with this career choice but there are things one can do to lessen their risk factors. According to Jahnke, obesity, alcohol consumption, tobacco usage, and sleep are all factors that can increase or decrease ones’ risk factors. “Obesity can more than double the risk of developing cancers such as multiple myeloma, kidney, liver, and esophageal cancer – all of which are diagnosed at high-risk rates among firefighters.” (Jahnke, 2019).
Personal Protective Equipment
“The risks of chemicals in firefighting equipment may seem to pale in comparison to the deadly flames, smoke-filled buildings or forest infernos that firefighters brave on the job.” (Tabuchi, 2021).
Exposure to Toxins
Firefighters face serious risk whenever they’re active on the job. Mental and physical stress, heat exhaustion, burns, and smoke inhalation are some of the factors that come to mind.
Firefighters’ chances of developing cancer are doubled from the average human as they come in contact with my chemicals while fighting fires. There are many air pollutants’ that firefighters encounter when they enter an active fire. A few important ones to remember are asbestos, carbon monoxide, smog and heavy metals. Before doing research, I had no idea what some of these chemicals were and where they were found. Asbestos is used in insulation within building structures. Carbon monoxide may be a chemical that you have heard before due to it being in found in air tanks and have medical use. One of the heavy metals that they encounter is lead. Lead can be found in
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that attacks a male’s prostate. After reviewing several studies on firefighters and prostate cancer, I found a study that was done by the Foundation of Australia in 2014 that had intriguing findings. “For prostate cancer, there was a 1.36-fold increase in risk of diagnosis. This means that every 100 non-firefighters diagnosed, there were 136 firefighters diagnosed with prostate cancer over the same age groups.” (Winnall, 2020).
What Should Change?
In efforts to change the rates and outcome of firefighters being exposed to these hazards I believe that there are many things that can be done. I would start at the proper education of each and every firefighter by showing them the proper way to protect themselves from these toxic chemicals. ]\
Costello, T. (2017, October 23). Cancer is the biggest killer of America’s firefighters. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/cancer-biggest-killer-america-s-firefighters-n813411
Jahnke, S., Ph.D. (2019, January 07). Mitigating firefighter cancer risks through lifestyle. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://www.firerescue1.com/cancer/articles/mitigating-firefighter-cancer-risks-through-lifestyle-wCmSoyo7IJCLbXMg/
Tabuchi, H. (2021, January 26). Firefighters battle an unseen hazard: Their gear could be toxic. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/26/climate/pfas-firefighter-safety.html
Winnall, W., PhD. (2020, March 10). Male firefighters have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.prostate.org.au/news-media/news/male-firefighters-have-an-increased-risk-of-prostate-cancer/
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.