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Enhancing indoor air quality for Firefighters

Overview

Firefighters are exposed to various hazards during their service, including those present within their own firehouse environments. Indoor air quality (IAQ) in firehouses is a critical concern as it directly impacts the health and performance of firefighters. The iAIR Institute is embarking on a crucial study aimed at comprehensively assessing IAQ in firehouses and identifying strategies to enhance it for the betterment of firefighters’ health and well-being.

Project Objectives

  • Assessment of IAQ: Conduct a thorough assessment of IAQ parameters such as particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and carbon monoxide levels in selected firehouses.
  • Identification of Pollutants: Identify potential sources of indoor air pollution within firehouse environments, including exhaust fumes, off-gassing from equipment, and building materials.
  • Health Impact Evaluation: Evaluate the impact of poor IAQ on firefighters’ health through medical records review, health monitoring, and surveys assessing respiratory symptoms and other health indicators.
  • Recommendations for Improvement: Develop evidence-based recommendations and strategies to improve IAQ in firehouses, aiming to reduce exposure to harmful pollutants and mitigate associated health risks.

Methodology

  • Site Selection: Firehouses will be selected based on criteria such as geographic location, size, and operational characteristics to ensure a representative sample.
  • Data Collection: IAQ parameters will be measured using calibrated instruments and sensors, with data collected over a specified period to capture variations.
  • Health Assessment: Surveys will be administered to firefighters to assess respiratory symptoms, while medical records will be reviewed to identify any patterns of respiratory illnesses or other health concerns.
  • Analysis: Statistical analysis will be conducted to identify correlations between IAQ parameters and health outcomes, guiding the development of recommendations.

Expected Outcomes

  • Identification of key indoor air pollutants present in firehouse environments.
  • Insights into the relationship between IAQ and firefighters’ health, including potential respiratory effects and other health impacts.
  • Evidence-based recommendations for interventions to improve IAQ in firehouses, enhancing the health and well-being of firefighters.
  • Contribution to the development of guidelines and best practices for maintaining healthy IAQ in firehouse environments, benefiting firefighters nationwide.

In Summary

The iAIR Institute’s project on enhancing IAQ for firefighters in firehouses is a critical initiative aimed at safeguarding the health and well-being of those who selflessly serve our communities. By conducting a comprehensive assessment, identifying pollutants, and developing targeted recommendations, this project seeks to create safer and healthier environments for firefighters, ensuring they can continue their vital work effectively and safely.

Research Group Leader

BEAMS LLC Consulting
Patricia Olinger

Research Group Team

airmid healthgroup
Dr John Ryan
iAIR Institute
Dr John McKeon
iAIR Institute
Dave Morrissey

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