NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-319-1569, International Association of Firefighters, New Jersey.
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 82-319-1569, 1985 Jul; :1-27
A health hazard evaluation of the Jersey City Fire Department (SIC- 9224), Jersey City, New Jersey was conducted in 1982. The evaluation was requested by the union to investigate health hazards to personnel who were potentially exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) while fighting a fire in a subway train. Because the request was received too late to measure airborne PCB exposures, the evaluation concentrated on determining serum PCB concentrations. Serum PCB concentrations were measured in 64 individuals who responded to the fire. The subjects included 36 firefighters with direct fire exposure, 13 firefighters with peripheral exposure, and 7 emergency medical technicians with peripheral exposure. Serum PCB concentrations could not be correlated with time spent fighting the fire. When applying different statistical procedures, weak correlations were found between serum PCB concentrations and firefighter age or length of service. The authors conclude that a health hazard due to PCB exposure in the fire does not exist. Serum PCB concentrations in firefighters increase slightly with age and length of service. Recommendations include treating all subway fires as sources of PCB, reducing fire hazards, and using disposable outer protective garments.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Fire-fighting; Region-2; Chemical-properties; Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Exposure-levels; Air-contamination; HETA-82-319-1569; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; polychlorinated dibenzofurans; PCDFs; Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins; PCDDs; Fire Fighters
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division