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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-280-1530, Orange County Fire Department, Orlando, Florida.
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 83-280-1530, 1984 Nov; :1-10
A health hazard evaluation of firefighters of the Orange County Fire Department (SIC-9224), Orlando, Florida was conducted in August, 1983. The survey was requested by the firefighter's union to evaluate potential health hazards to firefighters who responded to a fire involving burning pesticides at a nursery warehouse in May, 1983. After the fire, six individuals, including four firemen, were treated at a local emergency room. Medical questionnaires were administered to 6 of 18 firefighters and 2 of 3 exposed civilians. Emergency room medical records of the firefighters were reviewed. Symptoms reported included skin and eye irritation, chest tightness, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, and numbness of the fingers and lips. The duration of the symptoms ranged from 1 day (eye irritation) to 3 months (cough). All symptoms had subsided by the time of the survey. Medical records noted symptoms similar to those reported on the questionnaires and diagnoses of smoke and chemical inhalation. No permanent effects were noted. The author concludes that firefighters who fought the nursery warehouse fire experienced symptoms related to chemical and smoke inhalation. Recommendations include cleaning and disposing of contaminated equipment and implementing a medical surveillance program. Firefighters should not enter burning structures unless properly protected with NIOSH approved self contained breathing equipment.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Fire-fighting; Region-4; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Toxic-vapors; Rescue-workers; Protective-equipment; HETA-83-280-1530; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; Firefighters; Smoke Inhalation; Chemical Inhalation; Pesticide Fire
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division