You walk into a department store and pick up that brightly colored shirt you've been looking for all over town. However, on the rack you notice a sign that reads "Caution: Clothing Contains Known Carcinogens." Would you still buy the shirt? Would you wear it proudly and show off a selfie with you posing gallantly by the warning sign? My guess (and hope) is that you are saying no! Yet all too often we don our PPE with all the filth, crud, and grime from previous fires knowing what that crap represents. We can no longer claim ignorance to the dangers not washing our PPE can bring and the studies that show an increase in certain cancers when exposed to products of combustion.
Benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, and other toxins/carcinogens/pathogens are just a few of the hazards we face when PPE is not properly cared for and cleaned. Is looking "salty" now worth an incurable illness later in life?
If you have the facilities to wash your gear - WASH IT!
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