Many people including those in Ramsey, Minnesota, often forget that firefighters are workers themselves. And like any other worker, firefighters are exposed to certain risks. Firefighters brave critical conditions in order to save lives and property. However, as dangerous as their occupation is, firefighters should not be subjected to any more unnecessary job-related risks, particularly toxic exposure.
Recently, over 200 empty pairs of firefighters' boots recently lined the City Hall of one city. Each pair represented a firefighter who died due to cancer. Across the country, similar "Give Toxics the Boot" events were held. The events instilled awareness and sought stricter laws on the use of toxic chemicals that cause cancer and other diseases. When firefighters do their jobs, they are not just exposed to the fire they are trying to put out, but also to a toxic concoction of flame retardants and other chemicals as well.