Evaluation of Interventions to Reduce Firefighter Exposures

Jefferey L. Burgess, Christiane Hoppe-Jones, Stephanie C. Griffin, Jin J. Zhou, John J. Gulotta, Darin D. Wallentine, Paul K. Moore, Eric A. Valliere, Sasha R. Weller, Shawn C. Beitel, Leanne M. Flahr, Sally R. Littau, Devi Dearmon-Moore, Jing Zhai, Alesia M. Jung, Fernanda Garavito, Shane A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective:Evaluate the effectiveness of firefighter exposure reduction interventions.Methods:Fireground interventions included use of self-contained breathing apparatus by engineers, entry team wash down, contaminated equipment isolation, and personnel showering and washing of gear upon return to station. Urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites (PAH-OHs) were measured after structural fire responses before and after intervention implementation. Separately, infrared sauna use following live-fire training was compared to standard postfire care in a randomized trial.Results:The fireground interventions significantly reduced mean total urinary postfire PAH-OHs in engineers (-40.4%, 95%CI -63.9%, -2.3%) and firefighters (-36.2%, 95%CI -56.7%, -6.0%) but not captains (-11.3% 95%CI -39.4%, 29.9%). Sauna treatment non-significantly reduced total mean PAH-OHs by -43.5% (95%CI -68.8%, 2.2%).Conclusions:The selected fireground interventions reduced urinary PAH-OHs in engineers and firefighters. Further evaluation of infrared sauna treatment is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-288
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • SCBA
  • exposure reduction
  • firefighter
  • intervention
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
  • sauna
  • wash down

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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