By Sarah Krueger, WRAL
A new cancer study underway at the Durham Fire Department could save the lives of firefighters all over the country.
Firefighters are at a higher risk for some types of cancer because of the chemicals and particles they’re exposed to when they respond to a fire. It’s not just in the air — chemicals can even seep into their gear.
The Durham Fire Department is testing out a new way to reduce dangerous particles and decrease the rate of cancer in firefighters.
For Durham firefighters, cancer is personal. One of their colleagues, Wayne Page, died from it a few months ago.
In July, Chapel Hill firefighter Jimmy Lambert also lost his life to cancer after fighting fires for 25 years. His wife died months earlier.
A Durham firefighter had an idea to clean gear using what looks similar to an upholstery cleaner on the scene of a fire immediately after responding to the call.
North Carolina State University researcher Dr. Bryan Ormond is working to see if the cleaner is effective. If it is, he said it could be used by firefighters across the country.
Read the full story here.