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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-114-1097, Fire Department, Houston, Texas.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-114-1097, 1982 Apr; :1-14
The prevalence and severity of symptoms and possible lasting adverse health effects to firefighters (SIC-9224) as a result of a chemical fire involving polyvinylchloride (9002862) (PVC) in Houston, Texas, were evaluated. The study was requested by the International Association of Fire Fighters and was performed on February 1 to 3, 1982. A self administered questionnaire was given to 75 percent of 125 firefighters to determine symptoms and exposure estimates. Medical information on two firefighters who were hospitalized was obtained. There were reported skin disorders in 52 percent and respiratory symptoms lasting 3 days after the fire in 44 percent of firefighters. Those who spent 4 or more hours at the fire had a 70 percent prevalence of skin disorders and 54 percent prevalence of multiple acute respiratory complaints. Those exposed for 1 to 3 hours had a 25 and 6 percent prevalence, respectively. Two weeks after the fire, skin symptoms had disappeared, but 28 percent still had respiratory symptoms or nausea. The author concludes that a large proportion of the firefighters suffered acute effects due to exposure at the chemical fire, but suggests the respiratory symptoms noted 2 weeks after the fire may be related to cumulative effects of long term exposure rather than to a result of this PVC fire.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazards-Confirmed; Acute-exposure; Carcinogens; Irritant-gases; Long-term-exposure; Occupational-exposure; Firemen; Region-6; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; Fire Fighters; Polyvinyl Chloride
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division