Firefighters' occupational exposure to carbon monoxide.
Sammons JH; Coleman RL
J Occup Med 1974 Aug; 16(8):543-546
Firefighters occupationally exposed to carbon-monoxide (630080) were studied to determine residual carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and the possibility of myocardial damage. Firefighters were paired by age, weight, race, smoking habits, and family history of cardiovascular disease with members of military reserve units without carbon- monoxide exposure used as comparisons. Blood was drawn at 28 day intervals for 5 months and a CO Oximeter was used to measure COHb. Hemoglobin was also measured. To assess myocardial damage, serum enzymes including total lactic-dehydrogenase (LDH), heat stable lactic-dehydrogenase (stable LDH), creatine-phosphokinase (CPK), and hydroxybutyric-dehydrogenase (HBD) were analyzed. Test and comparison hemoglobins were about the same. Nonsmoking firefighters had a mean COHb of 5.0 percent compared with 2.3 percent for comparisons. Members of the fire department had higher LDH, stable LDH, HBD, and enzyme values than their comparison counterparts. All values except for COHb generally fell within normal ranges. The authors conclude that the nonsmoking firefighter, by virtue of his occupation, has already reached a maximum safe COHb saturation, since 5 percent is the recommended occupational exposure limit for an 8 hour day. Elevation of these enzymes in firefighters suggests myocardial damage.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Employee-exposure; Occupational-medicine; Firemen; Toxic-gases; Medical-surveys; Exposure-levels; Biological-effects; Health-hazards; Cardiac-function
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Journal of Occupational Medicine
University of Oklahoma Hlth Sciences Ctr, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma