Firefighter Lars tested the protective undergarment
Firefighter Lars Rijns Tjälldén had the opportunity to test CPP Garment's protective undergarments against cancer-causing toxins during a live fire training session. At the beginning some unaccustomed feeling, but better compliance and without impact on the work effort was the judgement. As a firefighter, Lars has a great responsibility for his own safety, but must adhere to the officially approved protection. He therefore hopes that protection for the skin against toxic fire gas will be made available to all firefighters as soon as possible.
When it comes to the Personal Protective Equipment he uses in his job, Lars, like many of his colleagues, places great importance on being able to perform his job unimpeded. At first the slightly stiffer fabric of the CPP Garment protective undergarment felt unfamiliar, but it soon became clear that the compliance was at least as good as the cotton undergarment he normally uses. Lars also noticed that the protective undergarment from CPP Garments was cooler, which was noticeable in the sweating. But for Lars, performing his job unimpeded also means not being distracted by health concerns.
"Cooler with increased comfort"
When smoke diving, we must be able to trust that the equipment is protected as well as skin and lungs against toxic substances in fire gas, just as we must be able to trust that the water in the hose works. There are a lot of risks connected to the assignments and consequently we have to be able to focus on them to one hundred percent, says Lars Rijns Tjälldén.
One less risk to worry about
Although the risks of being a firefighter are part of the job, it is also a source of concern for Lars' wife Desirée. Together they have a son, Astor, who is still too young to worry about his father. With the inescapable and tangible risks such as collapsing house structures in burning houses, the risk of cancer is an unnecessary addition of concern. The safety model and the Skellefteå model "Healthy firefighters" cover most risks linked to health and the working environment, but for Lars they focus less on the skin's exposure to toxic fire gases and so-called PAH substances.
- It is usually said that we firefighters are our own safety representatives and we have a great deal of personal responsibility. Therefore, knowledge of the risks associated with our job is also required so that we can make correct and safe decisions. Awareness of the risks linked to inhalation has been great, while the skin's ability to absorb toxins is not as well known. Many people think that the fire suits protect against most things, says Lars Rijns Tjälldén.
Although Lars knew the incidence of cancer among firefighters was high, it wasn't until he tested the protective undergarment from CPP Garments that he became aware of the actual statistics and the connection to skin exposure to PAHs. The number of deaths from cancer among people under the age of 75 is three times as high among firefighters compared to the rest of the population. With the protective undergarment, the skin gets 70 times better protection against the toxic PA substances compared to the firefighters' standard equipment.
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