• New Report: Firefighters Still Suffer Asbestos Exposure
  • December 17, 2014
  • Law Firm: Brayton Purcell LLP - Novato Office
  • While the number of injuries on the job are down for firefighters these days, asbestos still remains a major threat to these workers' health.

    Last year, the National Fire Protection Association separated "injuries" from "exposures," in their annual survey, decreasing the number of annual injuries overall. Despite this, 17,400 exposures to hazards such as asbestos, radioactive materials, chemicals, and fumes in 2013. If you are a retired or active firefighter, you are at risk for being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease due to your line of work.

    Firefighters battle extreme conditions at their jobs. Structure fire, wildfire, wind and smoke all make firefighting one of the most dangerous jobs in America. But the real danger may lay dormant in homes built before 1990. When older homes catch fire and collapse, asbestos fibers from the construction materials can be released into the air. Once these fibers have become airborne, the only thing separating firefighters from them is their protective gear.

    If you are a firefighter, make sure you follow the strict protocols for wearing protective clothing and masks when responding to a structure fire. Many firefighters remove their gear after a fire is contained - but what about the asbestos? Your employer is required to keep you safe on the job.