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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-84-180-1776, Jacksonville Fire Department, Jacksonville, 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 84-180-1776, 1987 Feb; :1-21
The efficiency of a trichlorotrifluoroethane based system to remove polychlorinated-biphenyls (1336363) (PCBs) from Nomex fabric garments used by the Jacksonville Fire Department (SIC-9224), Jacksonville, Florida was evaluated. The evaluation was requested by the International Association of Fire Fighters on behalf of Local 122. Garments had been contaminated during a fire at a transformer oil reclamation facility. The system used a sealed dry cleaning machine with a revolving chamber and trichlorotrifluoroethane solvent. From 66 to 99 percent of fireborne PCB contamination and more than 99 percent of experimental contamination was removed from fire fighters' protective clothing using the system. Because of uncertainty concerning the adequacy of decontamination, the garments were replaced. The author concludes that this system can remove a high percentage of PCB contamination; without established permissible limits for fabric levels of PCBs, it is not known if the level of decontamination is adequate. The author recommends that: hazards associated with the PCB exposure be thoroughly explained to firemen; only a limited number of fire fighters should enter potentially contaminated areas; those entering these areas should wear a self contained breathing apparatus operated in the positive pressure mode and standard turn out gear; and reusable equipment should be grouped according to perceived degree of contamination and washed with an alkaline or nonionic synthetic detergent.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-84-180-1776; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-4; Firemen; Hazardous-materials; Fire-protection-equipment; Protective-clothing; Author Keywords: Fire Fighters; PCBs; Polychlorinated Biphenyls; Decontamination; Protective Clothing; Freon 113; Trichlorotrifluoroethane
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