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Firefighter Detox Protocols

firefighter detox protocols

Firefighters are at an increased risk of cancer due to the occupational exposure to toxins found in smoke and diesel exhaust. Many plastics and metals as well as PAH’s, PFAS, and asbestos can have damaging effects on the nervous system, digestive, endocrine, and more ( Most firefighter wellness plans are centered on annual screening for cancers and biomarkers such as increased levels of toxins in the blood and urine. However, there are innovative and simple methods to increasing the elimination of toxins from the body. These firefighter detox protocols are typically used for the sick and chronically ill, however, they are growing in popularity with the increase in toxic exposure in the average daily living.

4 Simple Steps for Firefighter Detox

#1: Hydration

The average male firefighter at 190lbs needs about 120oz of water per day. This number varies greatly depending on activity level and time of year. What most people forget is to have adequate intake of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. According to Dr. Klinghardt, “electrolytes help to transport toxic waste across the extracellular space towards the lymphatic and venous vessels”, which leads to successful detoxification. Minerals, such as selenium, zinc, manganese, germanium, and molybdenum are prerequisites for heavy metal detox since they bind to sites keeping metals out of the cell.

Look for a mineral and electrolyte supplement that includes these ingredients to ensure proper natural hydration and detoxification. I like Utah Sea Minerals drops by Trace Minerals Research. They naturally contain over 30 seawater minerals and can re-mineralize filtered water.

#2: Sauna

The use of sauna for sweating and detoxification has been researched to improve the release of toxins from the body. One protocol is called the Hubbard protocol, which includes a specific regimen of fatty acid intake, B-vitamin ingestion, exercise, sauna, and mineral intake. Dr. Gelb lead the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project using the Hubbard protocol to help those exposed to toxins at the World Trade Centers site after 9/11. They found a decrease in Serum PCBs and dioxins as well as improved mental health markers (

Most of the sauna protocols listed on involve 2-5 hours of sauna daily for 3 weeks or more. This is not realistic for most people unless retired or out on sick leave. However, there are still benefits to using a sauna to sweat on a daily or weekly basis in the 30-60 minute time-frame, especially for those who are not exhibiting symptoms from consistent daily exposure. Specific detoxication protocols such as these should be monitored by a healthcare professional.

#3: Binders

Binders bind to toxins in the gut to then be released through the bowels. Chlorella, for example, is recommended by Dr. Klinghardt to be taken 30 minutes before a meal so by the time food and bile (containing toxins released by the liver) reaches the duodenum, the binders will bind to toxins and be excreted instead of re-circulated in the body. There are several different types of binders. Chlorella is unique because it acts as a binder while providing nutrition to the gut. Others, like charcoal or clay, can strip vital nutrients and minerals from the body, even medications if taken too close together. I like Dr. Mercola’s Fermented Chlorella for use before breakfast and dinner.

#4: Supplementation

In addition to vitamins A, D, K, and B’s, which are found in a daily multivitamin, supplementation can greatly support detox pathways. If you’re working with your healthcare provider to support detoxification, I recommend looking into supplements that offer liver support, gut health, and protective brain and vessel health such as fish oil. Take a read through Dr. Klinghardt’s Neurotoxin Protocol to learn more specifics. Also, I highly recommend only ordering supplements through a reputable distributor such as Fullscript. Nutritional supplements are not FDA regulated, so they can be mis-represented all of the time, especially when sold on on large retailers like Amazon. Quality products are also marked-up by double or more in stores. I recommend creating a free account through my Fullscript portal, where I can help you select the best supplements for your needs. All Fullscript products are vetted for quality and many are GMP certified.

Putting it all Together

Sample Firefighter Detox Protocol:

  1. Take 50-200mg of Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  2. Exercise for 20-min (cycle, treadmill, circuit train, rebound)
  3. Sauna (20-40 min while hydrating to replenish water loss and electrolytes)
  4. Take a binder (Chlorella can be taken anytime, however clay and charcoal need to be taken 60-min away from other supplements, including B3)
  5. Showering before and after the sauna is recommended for post-fire detox.
  6. Clean the sauna by wiping down the inside surfaces to decrease re-exposure.

If you have any health conditions and/or are taking medications, please consult your healthcare professional before trying any detox protocol.