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Ohio Issues Grants To Help Protect Firefighters From Health Hazards

Columbus Division of Fire

State officials say $426,000 in grants aimed at protecting firefighters from carcinogens and other health hazards is being shared by 40 fire departments in Ohio.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation says the funding is provided under the bureau's Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program. That program helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and special washing machines.

Officials say residue that collects on firefighters' gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments. The bureau says it is important that firefighters wear appropriate protective gear and that it be properly cleaned.

The grant program provides a 5-to-1 match up to $15,000 for public and private employers with an annual payroll of at least $500,000. Matches aren't required from employers with payrolls less than $500,000.