Don’t Just Protect Yourself from the Fire, Defend Yourself Against Carcinogens

Firefighters have been battling intense heat and physical stress for years, yet recent studies have shown there is more to worry about than the flames in front of you. 


  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), firefighters have a 9 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than the general U.S. population (1).
  • The FAST Test Report demonstrated particles measured to be 2.5 micron can penetrate a standard flame-resistant knit hood and leave a concentrated, heavy deposit on the subject’s neck, cheeks, ears and jaw (3). For comparison, soot and smoke particles are usually 1 micron or less.
  • The Firefighter Cancer Support Network report(2) states “soot and smoke particles readily absorb and hold liquid/gaseous chemicals”. That same soot “has ultrafine particles that… [are] absorbed through the skin traveling to most organs including the brain”(2). For firefighters it poses a greater risk since the skin adsorption rate increases by 400% with every 5°F increase in skin temperature (2).

These are concerning statistics, but fortunately there are ways to reduce your risk.

Using the research presented above, fabric and gear manufactures have combined forces to develop safety apparel to help combat the elements and decrease opportunities for exposure.

In response, Fire-Dex launched the Interceptor Package™ bundling 3 products to defend you against the number 1 (cancer) and number 2 (heat stress) causes of occupational deaths in firefighters; FXR turnouts, TECGEN51 and the H41 Interceptor™.

The H41 Interceptor™ keeps potentially carcinogenic particulates and other harmful contaminants off of firefighters’ jaws, faces, and necks; areas identified as highly absorptive and more permeable than other areas of skin (2). It has been scientifically-tested to block particulates at 0.2 micron in size or larger.  For perspective, there are 25,400 microns in one inch and a human hair is about 75-100 microns wide, so a 0.2 micron particulate is about 500x smaller than a strand of hair. 

The H41 Interceptor™ is available separately or as a part of the Fire-Dex Interceptor Package™.

(1) “Firefighter Cancer Rates: The Facts from NIOSH Research”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), May 2017

(2) “Taking Action Against Cancer in the Fire Service”, Firefighter Cancer Support Network, August 2015

(3) Fluorescent Aerosol Screening Test (FAST) Test Report, Commissioned by the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), conducted by Research Testing Institute (RTI), January 2015

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