Credit: Mark Thomas


The FBU and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have launched a major survey as part of our ground-breaking 3-year research project into firefighting and toxic contaminants, funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery. 

Every fire contains a mixture of toxic chemicals and research suggests that UK firefighters are more likely to develop cancer and other illnesses than the general population.

We already know that the nature of firefighting puts firefighters at risk, so one of the first things we are looking at is current methods of decontaminating, cleaning, storing, maintaining and transporting PPE and other equipment.

The survey will help us understand how firefighters encounter contaminants and how they use personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s a vital part of the research. We need firefighters across the country to take the time to fill it out.

Contaminants survey

Responses to this questionnaire will help to prepare a best practice document to help minimise contamination. Responses are completely anonymous and will not be shared with your brigade.

A team from UCLan is already visiting fire stations and training centres across the country testing for toxic contaminants in the workplace.

There’s a lot more to do to prove the link between firefighting and cancers, but right now you can really help by taking part in this survey.

The survey runs until 3 February. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes and could provide information that could help save your life or the lives of your colleagues.

With your help, we can improve firefighter safety and, ultimately, save lives.

Download a copy of the poster and put it on the noticeboard in your fire station.

Contaminants project poster