NC firefighters join study to analyze chemical exposure

Firefighters from the Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham Fire Departments are wearing wristbands that will collect data on what firefighters are exposed to every day


By FireRescue1 Staff 

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Three North Carolina fire departments are partnering with the Duke Cancer Institute for a pilot study to analyze the chemicals firefighters are exposed to and the risk those toxins pose to firefighters. 

According to Fox 8, firefighters from the Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham Fire Departments are wearing wristbands that will collect data on what firefighters are exposed to every day. 

The goal of the study is to gather enough actionable data to provide better guidance on cancer prevention, including equipment decontamination. 

"We're going to have one group of firefighters who wear a wristband continuously all day long, and that will give us a longitudinal measure of their entire exposure history from sunup to sundown. We'll have another group of firefighters who only wear the wristband when they're going into a fire situation," Dr. Steven Patierno, deputy director of the DCI, said.

Researchers want to include 1,000 firefighters in the study from all three departments. The study is in its infancy, and it is expected to take several months before a more substantial study starts. 

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