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Smoke Events and First Responders

This ODH factsheet answers many common questions about first responder health and smoke events, including:

  • What makes smoke events dangerous for first responders?

  • What health problems can smoke cause for first responders?

  • How can I protect myself from the health effects of smoke as a first responder?

  • If I am a first responder and I develop cancer or another chronic disease, did I get sick because of smoke?

  • Where can I get more information?


Local health departments are encouraged to print these factsheets for distribution to first responders (firefighters, EMS, emergency utilities workers, etc.) in the event of a public health incident involving smoke.


This factsheet may be updated periodically as new scientific information becomes available or as regulations change. You can find the date of the most recent updates to this factsheet inside the PDF.