During these years, a large number of articles were published that showed an increased risk of cancer among firefighters compared to other occupational groups. Some articles claimed that the increased risk was due to exposure to harmful and carcinogenic gases that passed through the skin, especially the so-called PAH, Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons. It was also assumed that the firefighter’s fire suits available on the market were not optimal for preventing these gaseous substances from penetrating through the skin of the firefighters.
At the end of these years, research confirmed that carcinogenic gases and particles could actually be absorbed through the skin. At the same time, there was a German company with a patented fabric - based on activated carbon - that could possibly offer a solution. The company had developed a fabric that minimized the exposure of toxic gases to the skin.
Discussions began and deepened. It was concluded together that there could be a solution to this problem and that it would be a completely newly developed undergarment, specially developed for firefighters, to be worn under the normal fire suit. Together with the German company a decision was made to carry out various tests to verify the hypothesis that the normal fire suit constituted only a limited protection against gaseous PAHs and that an adsorptive undergarment could improve the protection to the skin's exposure of harmful gases.
If these tests showed that the hypothesis was correct, the undergarment would be designed and developed in Sweden, and the German company would produce with their patented fabric.
The company Carbon Personal Protection Sweden AB “CPP”; was founded.
The first test was carried out at the Rescue Services’ training site Guttasjön outside Borås (Sweden) under the leadership of CIT Chalmers in Gothenburg. The test examined the properties of the fabric material and, among other things, measured the fabric’s adsorption capacity of hazardous gases and particles (PAH) and the results clearly showed that the properties of the fabric functioned according to plan.
The second test was carried out at the Rescue Services’ training site Guttasjön outside Borås (Sweden) under the leadership of CIT Chalmers in Gothenburg. This second test round was with smoke divers with sensors that registered the skin’s exposure to PAH. In these tests, the smoke divers used their usual fire suits on the outside of CPP’s bases, and the test results turned out to be very promising, so the project entered the next phase.
CPP and the German company agreed that CPP’s undergarment initially would be designed and produced for fire fighters in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.
In December, the third test was carried out at the Rescue Services’ training site Guttasjön outside Borås (Sweden) under the leadership of CIT Chalmers in Gothenburg. The Firefighters’ Cancer Fund ordered this independent test round; after they were notified of the test results from the previous tests.
This test round also included smoke divers with sensors that registered the skin’s exposure to PAH, but where they used undergarment that had been used in 10 smoking exercises and washed between each exercise. Also in these tests, the smoke divers used their usual fire suits outside the CPP’s undergarments, both new fire suits and used fire suits.
The test results are scheduled to be presented in the spring of 2021.
Thomas Dedering starts as CEO and the company changes the name to CPP Garments AB.
After several discussions with Swedish firefighters the final design was decided.
The report from test 3 is completed and published.
The protective undergarment for firefighters are now launched and available for deliveries to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark in September 2021.
In December, the report from Test 4 is published. The tests show that even after 10 hours of smoke diving, CPP's undergarments have 20 times better protection than standard, and that the average protection during these 24 smoke dives exercises was 70 times higher with CPP compared to standard.