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Still think you do not need to wear your SCBA?

On the heels of the “Respiratory Disease and the Fire Service” report released by the IAFF, and IAFC a few weeks ago http://averagejakeff.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/iaff-and-usfa-release-respiratory-disease-and-the-fire-service-document/

comes a study on how not wearing SCBA affects your heart as well. This study was done by the University of Cincinnati, Underwriters laboratory, and The Chicago Fire Department. Here is the link http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928111136.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29&utm_content=Google+International

The Highlights of it are the following:

1. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of firefighters in the US

2. Contributing to that are the ultra fine particulates that are created in a fire

3. Most of the particulates are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and are present mostly during OVERHAUL

4. 70% of the particulates released in a fire are the “ultra fine” type.

5. You are more likely to be affected by these particulates if you are in poor physical shape.

So what does this all mean? Well I think the data speaks for itself, similar studies have been conducted relating firefighter heart disease to particulates the most recent one was out of the University of Kansas where 77 firefighters were tested and 22% was found to have arteries like that of a 59-year-old. The average age was only 39. The University of Indiana also conducted a study and found that firefighters have more narrow arteries than the average person. They found a direct correlation to our lack of sleep and the SMOKE we take in. Lastly the associate chief of cardiology also conducted a study plainly saying that the PARTICULATES in smoke are harmful, causes inflammation of the arteries which leads to increased risks for stroke, and heart attack.

Thankfully the fix is quite simple, wear your SCBA during all phases of the fire, and sometimes it may even be warranted to be worn on the exterior, add in some better eating habits, and a cardiovascular physical fitness program and you can avoid becoming a statistic. Make no mistake about it this is preventable, but its all up to you!

By the way I will be going on vacation for over a week starting this weekend, so the blog activity will be a little light (or non existent), but do not worry I will pick it right back up after I return. In addition if you have any topics you would like covered, or anything of that nature please let me know via email, or the comments section. Thanks for reading and STAY SAFE OUT THERE!

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