Researchers concludes that firefighters face a 102% greater risk of contracting testicular cancer than any other type of worker, a 53% greater risk of multiple myeloma, a 51% greater risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma... and the list goes on. “Firefighters are exposed to numerous cancer-causing substances,” said head researcher Grace LeMasters. “I think obviously they have not got enough protection from that exposure”.
The rapidly evolving discovery of firefighters much increased risk of cancer is something that must be taken very seriously. In the U.S. cancer is classified as an occupational disease for firefighters. Today there is no adequate protection and there is a hole in the market in this particular area.
The challenge of the project was to find a solution that works for all different tasks the firefighters face. The reason that firefighters do not use a respirator is because it impedes their work. The biggest problem is that communication is seriously hampered.
Firefighters are exposed to very high concentrations of airborne particles and gases that are harmful when inhaled and by prolonged contact with skin. The damage and symptoms usually occur long after exposure. Repeated exposure increases the risk of many types of cancer! The problem is that they take off the mask to be able to communicate.
These increased risks comes from the particles firefighters inhale when they do not use the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus). The problem involves firefighters in vicinity to the fire: pump attendants, emergency managers, etc. This is a problem even after the extinction when the firemen go around and do a final inspection that may take several hours.
Cas solution is; first a window in the mask that allows for lip-reading and second a voice amplifier that facilitates radio communication. At a traffic accident one of the most important parameters is contact with patients. It is reassuring to see the facial expressions of the firefighters trough the window in the mask.
CAS protects firefighters from substances that can increase the risk of cancer and other non-reversible disease.
Featuring Science Fiction short film SEED, releasing in August 2012