Firefighters Had Increased Chemicals in Systems After Tubbs Fire: Study

A new study released Tuesday details the health impacts on firefighters who battled one of California's most destructive wildfires.

The study focuses on firefighters who fought the Tubbs Fire, which scorched 36,807 acres, wiped out 5,636 structures and left 22 people dead in Napa and Sonoma counties back in the fall of 2017.

Nearly 150 firefighters volunteered to take part in the study, which was led by the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation. The foundation decided to put together the study citing concerns about the level of toxic chemical exposure firefighters faced.

Firefighters who participated in the study provided information ranging from their length of service to the amount of times they washed their hands before eating. The study also sampled blood and urine from firefighters who fought the Tubbs Fire.

Some firefighters who battled the wildfires during the 2017 North Bay firestorm have called the blazes the West Coast version of 9/11. According to the Press Democrat, most of the firefighters used lighter, less restrictive wildland firefighting gear instead of heavy air tanks and face masks that could have eliminated exposure to toxic fumes from the hazardous fuels and chemicals that burned.

The most troubling chemicals found in the study are also found in firefighting foam and in the fire resistant clothing firefighters wear.

SFFD Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said testing was also done after the Camp Fire. The results are expected back soon and will be shared with other fire departments.

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