Monthly Archives: October 2016

First Responders, Investigators Often Exposed to Asbestos

Did you know that firefighters and other first responders are often exposed to asbestos during emergency situations? Sadly, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported in 2014 that firefighters in particular have higher rates of cancer than other public sector workers, due to the harmful exposure to chemicals and toxic materials they encounter. The agency reported that in addition to flame-retardant chemicals, some firefighters are exposed to asbestos as they enter buildings during emergencies. While asbestos materials are mostly outlawed in modern building design and coding, it was very commonly used in structures built before the 1980s—so when rescue workers enter older buildings, they may be putting themselves at risk. In addition to firefighters, other employees who may be exposed to asbestos during emergency situations include police officers, EMS workers, structural and design experts, as well as crime scene investigators and construction workers. Perhaps the starkest example of…
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