Medical & health research along with fire service studies have identified 1 out of every 3 firefighters will be diagnosed with a form of cancer over their careers and lifetimes. 70% of firefighter Line of Duty Deaths are cancer related. Reducing exposures is key to preventing firefighter cancer.
In 2017, the Ohio Legislature passed Ohio Senate Bill 27, known as the Ohio Presumptive Cancer Bill. While this is a major step in the treatment of firefighter cancers, much more can be done in the prevention of firefighter cancers through the reduction of exposures to the toxins and carcinogens commonly found in fire ground operations.
Protecting the head, neck and throat areas of a firefighter are critical in reducing exposures to carcinogens. Traditional firefighting hoods are made of loosely woven Nomex and are designed to protect against heat and flame impingement. While the original intent of Nomex hoods is effective and function for their intended purpose, the Nomex material allows for smoke, toxins and carcinogens to penetrate the hood and attach to the skin. During fire ground operations with the presence of heat and contaminants, a rise of five degrees in skin temperature increases the body absorption rate approximately 400 times more.
Particulate Blocking Hoods
With advances of technology and manufacturing, the next generation of hoods already on the market include improved heat and flame impingement qualities of traditional Nomex hoods, but now incorporate a particulate blocking layer of over 99% of contaminants. The hoods are structured to allow the regulation of body temperature – thus allowing the fabric to breathe while reducing the exposure risk to the firefighter.
Why are they needed?
Ohio Firefighter Cancer Bill – Michael Louis Palumbo, Jr. Act
Fire departments are currently budgeting approximately $40 for traditional Nomex hoods. The advance of technology and the particulate blocking layer increase the cost of Particulate Blocking Hoods to over $125. With departmental budgets stretched thin, tripling the cost of hoods presents a financial hardship and places this technology outside the reach of over 70% of departments across the U.S. and State of Ohio.
How You Can Help
Our mission is to bridge the gap between existing department budgets and the critical need for protective equipment. Our fundraising engages the local department and incorporates local business owners, groups & organizations and individuals. If your business or organization would like to get involved please Contact Us.
You can help by joining this Initiative today. View our current department fundraisers by clicking the department logo below and your generous donation of $125 will provide a Particulate Blocking Hood for a Firefighter in Ohio. At the conclusion of each drive, all donors will be invited to attend and celebrate the Hood Delivery at the department!