A study based on 125 interviews with fire fighters and stakeholders in the USA assesses the reasons for, consequences and orientations of fire fighter participation in actions to restrict the use of certain flame retardants and in pressing for reforming fire safety standards to reflect best available fire science. The paper underlines that further environmental and occupational health scientific investigation is needed to better understand the exposure of firefighters to fire pollutants and disease pathways, including biomonitoring of fire fighters blood.
Fire fighters are also cited as noting the considerable environmental impacts of fires, both through smoke and toxic emissions in the fire and through replacement of the destroyed goods. The authors conclude that fire fighter pressure to improve health safety of flame retardants is likely to continue, as well as pressure from other professions particularly exposed to flame retardants in work spaces, such as hospitals, aircraft, buses.
“Firefighters and flame retardant activism”, A. Cordner et al., New Solutions, Vol. 24(4) 511-534, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/NS.24.4.f
“Halogenated Flame Retardants: Do the Fire Safety Benefits Justify the Risks?”, S. Shaw et al., Reviews on Environmental Health 25(4) (2010): 261-305, http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/reveh.2010.25.4.261