How Enduro Protect Safeguards Firefighters Against Serious Health Risks

How Enduro Protect Safeguards Firefighters Against Serious Health Risks

It is an unfortunate reality that Firefighters are exposed to enormous health risks on a daily basis from excessive heat, smoke, and harmful toxins. While there is no doubt that modern protective clothing has made the industry much safer in general, firefighters still face the serious problem of cancer-causing substances being absorbed directly into the skin and heat stress. As we will discuss in this article, Enduro Protect is transforming protective workwear for firefighters by removing many of the health risks that have been long overlooked.

What is the problem with traditional firefighting clothing?

Most firefighters tend to wear a t-shirt and trousers close to their skin, which offers no protection from harmful substances. Usually, when a firefighter takes off their protective gear, carcinogenic soot marks are visible on the skin, evidence that harmful contamination penetrates through firefighter clothing. This is important because, as we discussed in a recent article, the prevalence of cancer among UK firefighters aged between 35-39 is up to 323% higher than in the general population.

What is the Enduro Protect base layer?

The Enduro Protect base layer is specialist protective workwear for those in the firefighting industry. Our protective flash hood, top and jogging bottoms have been painstakingly developed over 3 years of research in close collaboration with the firefighting industry. At its core is a patented fabric mesh that is breathable but does not allow fine, harmful particulates to enter and be absorbed by the skin. Enduro Protect base layers offer considerable benefits for firefighters, both in terms of long-term health and protection from cancer and comfort while performing their role.

How Enduro Protect Benefits Firefighters at Work and Home

Our Enduro Protect base layer has been used and tested heavily within the field and offers a number of important benefits, including:

Fully blocks carcinogenic substances from touching the skin

Harmful chemicals that reach the skin are much more likely to be absorbed into the body due to the conditions firefighters face. This is because skin is 400% more absorbent in the presence of heat and sweat. Enduro Protect does not only prevent the absorption of carcinogenic smoke, it also meets the:

  • ASTM F903 standard for resistance penetration by liquid chemicals, and the
  • ASTM F1671 standard for resistance penetration by viral and blood-borne viruses

Enduro Protect is highly effective at blocking the skin absorption of a wide range of harmful cancer-causing chemicals and even warfare agents such as mustard gas.

In the words of Nicholas Brown of the Oxfordshire FRS, who extensively tested the Enduro Protect base layer, “I found no contamination passing through the clothing. Excellent”.

Controls body temperature to reduce heat stress

The Enduro Protect base layer also excels at controlling body temperature and reducing the potential for heat stress. Nicholas Brown of the Oxfordshire FRS explained:

“It [Enduro Protect] was much more efficient: cooling the entire body evenly, rapidly, and stopping once a reasonable temperature was gained. I never felt too cold in this, and I never felt wet. I was really impressed with this.”

Rapid drying to keep firefighters as comfortable as possible

Due to heat exposure and the thickness of firefighter clothing, profuse sweating is an inevitable result. One of the key benefits of our base layer is its ability to wick sweat away from the body and quickly dry. This means that firefighters feel much more comfortable while performing their roles. When asked if our base layer was effective in wicking away sweat, John Hardy of Oxfordshire FRS told us:

“Although it is impossible not to sweat profusely in a fire kit and especially when exposed to heat, the base layer performed brilliantly. Within a few minutes of removing my fire kit, the base layer dried out the sweat it had wicked away and remained comfortable to wear”.

On the wicking ability of Enduro Protect, Nicholas Brown also said:

“Wicking capability – this is absolutely awesome. This is the first time I’ve worn a base layer like this, so I can only compare it to the cheap cotton(ish) t-shirts all firefighters are issued. I did not feel drenched in sweat like I would have normally and was completely dry almost immediately.”

Comfortable and non-restrictive

Firefighter protective clothing is not normally known for being comfortable. Using the Enduro Protect base layer offers increases comfort throughout the working day. On the level of comfort while wearing our base layer, John Hardy commented:

“Once on, I found the base layer extremely comfortable to wear under my fire kit to the point I wasn’t really aware I was wearing it. I was able to perform all my firefighting tasks without any restriction from the base layer”.

No smoke contamination in the home

Firefighters who have worn the Enduro Protect base layer have found additional benefits when they arrive home from work. Because smoke does not reach the skin when wearing Enduro Protect, firefighters report that they do not smell of smoke, and there are no sooty marks and smears which can get on home furnishings. As John Hardy explained:

“When I went for a shower following exposure to heat and smoke in one of the FBT demo boxes and, although my fire kit was exposed to contaminants, my skin did not smell of smoke or show any signs of contaminants. The inside of the base layer was clean and also did not smell of smoke”.

Final words

The simplicity of the Enduro Protect base layer means that it can be used with existing firefighting kits while overcoming the lack of protection it offers. Given the risks faced by firefighters on a daily basis, the more that can be done to protect them from long-term health conditions and make their working life more comfortable, the better.

To discuss any points made in this article, please call the Enduro Protect team on 01235 814112.

Organisations working with Enduro Protect

© 2024 Enduro  |  Oxford Safety Supplies Ltd T/A Enduro Protect. Company Number: 09298193, Company Registered: England & Wales