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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-150-1767, Warwick Fire Department, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Keenlyside RA; House LA; Kent G; Durand JM
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 85-150-1767, 1987 Jan; :1-32
In answer to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), an evaluation was made of health complaints noted by fire fighters exposed to plastic products and pesticides during two separate fires attended to by the Warwick Fire Department (SIC- 9224), located in Warwick, Rhode Island. Questionnaires were administered to 43 persons who were only present at the plastics fire and 46 who were only present at the pesticide fire and to 13 present at both fires. These included 14 volunteer fire fighters and one policeman; of the 132 exposed individuals, 13 did not participate in the evaluation. Clinical evaluations were not undertaken because of the time elapsed since the fires. The men who fought the plastic products fire and the pesticide fire apparently experienced acute symptoms related to smoke and chemical inhalation during the fires, including headache, cough, sore throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, rash, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and numbness. No long term health effects resulting from exposures to fire products were detected. The authors conclude that fire fighters at these two fires experienced acute irritant symptoms from smoke and chemical inhalation. The authors recommend use of protective clothing, use of protective equipment, prefire planning, implementation of medical surveillance for all fire fighters, and the proper cleanup of protective clothing and equipment after fires.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-85-150-1767; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Plastics-industry; Firemen; Agricultural-chemicals; Personal-protective-equipment; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; Fire Fighters; Smoke Inhalation; Pesticides; Plastics
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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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