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Exposure of wildland firefighters to carbon monoxide, fine particles, and levoglucosan.

Authors
Adetona-O; Simpson-CD; Onstad-G; Naeher-LP
Source
Ann Occup Hyg 2013 Oct; 57(8):979-991
NIOSHTIC No.
20044751
Abstract
Wildland firefighters are occupationally exposed to elevated levels of woodsmoke. Eighteen wildland firefighters were monitored for their personal exposure to particulate matter with median aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5), levoglucosan (LG), and carbon monoxide (CO) at 30 prescribed burns at the Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Linear mixed effect models were used to investigate the effect on exposure of various factors and to examine whether the firefighters were able to qualitatively estimate their own exposures. Exposure to PM2.5 and CO was higher when firefighters performed 'holding' tasks compared with 'lighting' duties, whereas exposures to CO and LG were higher when burns were in compartments with predominantly pine vegetation (P < 0.05). Exposures to PM2.5 (64-2068 g m(-3)) and CO (0.02-8.2 p.p.m.) fell within the ranges observed in previous studies. Some recommended shorter term exposure limits for CO were exceeded in a few instances. The very low LG:PM2.5 ratios in some samples suggest that the exposures of wildland firefighters to pollutants at prescribed burns may be substantially impacted by non-woodsmoke sources. The association of the qualitative exposure estimation of the firefighters with actual PM2.5 and CO measurements (P < 0.01) indicates that qualitative estimation may be used to assess exposure in epidemiology studies.
Keywords
Fire-fighters; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Smoke-inhalation; Wood; Humans; Men; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Models; Pollutants; Hazards; Carcinogens; Author Keywords: carbon monoxide; levoglucosan; occupational exposure; particulate matter; prescribed burn; wildland firefighter
Contact
Luke Naeher, Department of Environmental Health Science, The University of Georgia, College of Public Health, 206 EHS Building, 150 Green Street, Athens, GA 30602
CODEN
AOHYA3
CAS No.
630-08-0
Publication Date
20131001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
LNaeher@uga.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2014
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R21-OH-009274
Issue of Publication
8
ISSN
0003-4878
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
State
WA; GA
Performing Organization
University of Washington
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