Firefighter attitudes, norms, beliefs, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes in an era of increased cancer risk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during fires and from their personal protective equipment (PPE). Recent research has shown that decontamination processes can reduce contamination on both gear and skin. While firefighter cultures that honor dirty gear are changing, little is known about current attitudes and behaviors toward decontamination in the fire service. Four hundred eighty-five firefighters from four departments completed surveys about their attitudes, beliefs, perceived norms, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes. Overall, firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Fingerprint

Firefighters
Decontamination
Neoplasms
Volatile Organic Compounds
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Carcinogens
Skin
Research

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • decontamination
  • firefighter
  • health campaign
  • personal protective equipment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Firefighter attitudes, norms, beliefs, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes in an era of increased cancer risk",
abstract = "Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during fires and from their personal protective equipment (PPE). Recent research has shown that decontamination processes can reduce contamination on both gear and skin. While firefighter cultures that honor dirty gear are changing, little is known about current attitudes and behaviors toward decontamination in the fire service. Four hundred eighty-five firefighters from four departments completed surveys about their attitudes, beliefs, perceived norms, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes. Overall, firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.",
keywords = "Cancer, decontamination, firefighter, health campaign, personal protective equipment",
author = "Harrison, {Tyler R} and Muhamad, {Jessica Wendorf} and Fan Yang and Susan Morgan and Edmund Talavera and Caban-Martinez, {Alberto J} and Erin Kobetz",
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AU - Harrison, Tyler R

AU - Muhamad, Jessica Wendorf

AU - Yang, Fan

AU - Morgan, Susan

AU - Talavera, Edmund

AU - Caban-Martinez, Alberto J

AU - Kobetz, Erin

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N2 - Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during fires and from their personal protective equipment (PPE). Recent research has shown that decontamination processes can reduce contamination on both gear and skin. While firefighter cultures that honor dirty gear are changing, little is known about current attitudes and behaviors toward decontamination in the fire service. Four hundred eighty-five firefighters from four departments completed surveys about their attitudes, beliefs, perceived norms, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes. Overall, firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.

AB - Firefighters are exposed to carcinogens such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during fires and from their personal protective equipment (PPE). Recent research has shown that decontamination processes can reduce contamination on both gear and skin. While firefighter cultures that honor dirty gear are changing, little is known about current attitudes and behaviors toward decontamination in the fire service. Four hundred eighty-five firefighters from four departments completed surveys about their attitudes, beliefs, perceived norms, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes. Overall, firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.

KW - Cancer

KW - decontamination

KW - firefighter

KW - health campaign

KW - personal protective equipment

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