Can Fire and Smoke Damage Affect Your Health?

When you experience a house fire, you may believe they are safe from harm as soon as the flames are extinguished. Many don’t understand that the risks to your health go much further than the flames themselves. When going through a burned building or sifting through belongings left behind, you could actually be exposing yourself to a lot of toxic materials and fumes.

For this reason, you will usually see professionals in smoke damage restoration around Springfield, Ohio using proper respirators or Tyvek suits in order to protect their health when going through burned buildings. As a homeowner, you should use the same caution after a house fire. Here’s why:

Exposure to Burned Wood

It is a little-known fact that prolonged exposure to burned wood can actually have consequences on your health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that roughly four million people across the world die prematurely each year from diseases caused by the domestic burning of wood.

This means that after a house fire, the remains of burning wood could be affecting your health if not handled properly.

Exposure to Soot

Soot was found to be toxic and cancer-causing in 1775. An English Surgeon named Percivall Pott identified the first-ever cancer-causing occupation. He found a correlation between chimney sweeps’ exposure to soot and a high incidence of a condition called “soot wart,” cancer later found to be squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer primarily affected chimney sweeps who had been in contact with soot since their early childhood.

For this reason, it is extremely important that soot is completely eradicated after a house fire.

Exposure to Pressure Treated Lumber

Many buildings in the U.S. contain pressure-treated lumber because of its ability to resist rot, fungi, and termites. It is also a popular choice for outside use such as fences and outdoor furniture.

Prior to 2003, pressure-treated lumber was manufactured with a chemical known as chromate copper arsenate (CCA), which contained arsenic. Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal classified by the EPA as a known carcinogen.

When pressure-treated wood burns, the heat releases the chemical bond that holds the arsenic in the wood where it becomes part of the soot and ash.

This can have many health consequences for you and your family if not cleaned up properly.

Exposure Safety Measures

If you are thinking about handling fire restoration yourself, it is incredibly important to be cautious and utilize the following safety measures:

  • Respiratory Protection
  • Protective Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Good Hygiene Practices

Call Smoke Damage Restoration Experts

One of the best ways to ensure your safety and protect your family’s health is to call in the experts in fire and smoke damage restoration in Springfield, Ohio. With years of experience and extensive knowledge of the hazards of fire clean up our team at Relient Restoration will use the proper safety measures to restore your home and ensure its safety for your family for years to come.

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