- Report Published -
|A Study of Toxic Exposure Conditions for Virginia Firefighters|
|Virginia Fire Services Board; Department of Fire Programs|
|SJR 120 (Regular Session, 1994)|
|The 1994 General Assembly requested that the Virginia Fire Services Board, within the Department of Fire Programs, study of the level of exposure of firefighters to toxic materials while performing the required duties of the fire service (see Attachment A). The request for study recognized the fact that, nationally, firefighters are unavoidably exposed to a wide range of toxic chemicals and known carcinogens, which have been linked to a variety of cancers and possibly high job-related fatalities among firefighters. The need exists for capturing Virginia specific data on toxic exposures.|
The focus of the study was to develop the prototype for a statewide database to collect and analyze information which documents firefighter exposure to toxic substances. In establishing this database, the Board was to examine, among other things, the availability and use of appropriate protective gear and other prevention initiatives and the extent of compliance by individual firefighters with existing firefighter safety protocol.
The Board was to report its progress on the database to the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor by November 1995 and submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the 1996 Session of the General Assembly.
The study was based upon toxic exposure incidents reported by six Virginia fire departments. The fire departments represented a reasonable cross-section of the Virginia fire service. A task force was formed and comprised one representative from each of the participants and representatives from the Board and the Department. The committee planned and evaluated each phase of the project.
The committee has reviewed and approved the results of the study for presentation to the Board. On December 15, 1995, the Board concurred with the results and approved the study.