Participate in a Firefighter Exposure Assessment Study

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)/National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) in collaboration with the Fire Protection Resource Foundation (FPRF) are undertaking a firefighter exposure assessment study and asking for participation from fire departments of all sizes and types from around the country. This effort is attempting to relate fire types (i.e. structural house, commercial building, vehicle, wildland, etc.) to contaminants that deposit on structural firefighting turnout gear during the fire. The information will be used to develop best cleaning and decontamination strategies based on fire type.

To complete this, NIOSH/NPPTL and FPRF are asking for help. In this study, firefighters are requested to attach a provided swatch of outer shell fabric to their ensemble and wear it for the duration of one fire event. After the event, the firefighter will place the swatch in the pouch it arrived in, check a box on the pouch to indicate the fire type, and return it to NIOSH/NPPTL at their Morgantown, WV, facility using the self-addressed stamped envelope. The study hopes to have all swatches back by April 30, 2024.

If you or your fire department would be willing to participate and help this important exposure study, contact Crystal D. Forester at A box with all necessary materials (including swatches and self-addressed stamped envelopes) and instructions will be mailed to you.