Protecting Firefighters and Fire Damage Cleanup Crews in Puerto Rico from Exposure Risks to Hazardous Mat – Benzinga

Firefighters in Puerto Rico play a crucial role in protecting public safety and the property of people, businesses and institutions. Responding to fires and emergencies, their work can be dangerous. These dangers include more than just flames and extreme heat as most fire emergencies could also expose firefighters to a number of hazardous substances.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that firefighters can be exposed to hundreds of different chemicals in the form of gases, vapors and particulates, and that some of these chemical substances are known or suspected to cause cancer. A number of these hazardous substances are byproducts of combustion or burning, such as benzene and formaldehyde. Others come from the materials burning or in the fire debris, such as asbestos or lead found in many older structures.
“In 2013, NIOSH published the results of a large study of firefighters from three major U.S. cities that found the population of firefighters in the study had a rate of mesothelioma two times greater than the rate in the U.S. population,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer are a few of the diseases exposure to asbestos fibers can cause. Even for those wearing protective clothing, known as turnout gear, if it is not properly cleaned or stored after a fire or training event, chemicals on the gear or equipment can contaminate vehicles and the fire station. Reusing dirty turnout gear or respiratory protection can also result in exposures to hazardous substances. These exposures can occur by skin contact with contaminated personal protective equipment or by breathing in or ingesting particles from contaminated gear. Cleanup crews, demolition contractors and construction professionals sent in after a fire are also at risk for exposure to many of these hazardous materials left behind.”
Dedicated to protecting firefighters and workers in Puerto Rico are the experts at Zimmetry Environmental. They offer industrial hygiene and environmental testing, consulting and training services to identify and mitigate risks associated with fires and fire damaged properties. Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about firefighters and occupational exposure risks to dermal and respirable hazards that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their industrial hygiene, air quality, building science, environmental and compliance services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email [email protected] .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality (IAQ), asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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