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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-194-1779, Dade County Fire Department, Miami, 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 83-194-1779, 1987 Feb; :1-15
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters on behalf of Local 1403, an investigation was made of potential exposures to hazardous wastes (solvents) used for starting practice fires at the Dade County Fire Department (SIC-9224) aircraft fire training facility at Opa-Locka Airport, Dade County, Florida. Used solvents donated by waste handlers or local industries had been used to start practice fires. Laboratory analysis of the soil and ground water samples taken from the burn pits revealed the presence of several common industrial solvents. No traces were found of polychlorinated biphenyls or pesticides. Toxic heavy metals were present in only trace amounts. The only suspected carcinogen identified was dichlorobenzene (106467). Other potential carcinogens identified included methylene-chloride (75092) and perchloroethylene (127184). The author concludes that the use of waste solvents of unknown composition was a potential hazard for firefighters, as well as the environment. The author recommends that the practice of using unknown solvents to help start practice fires be eliminated. Fire fighters must not be required to break open solvent drums with a fire ax. Burn pits should be designed to contain the fuel and water to prevent environmental contamination. Appropriate protective equipment must be available. Toxicity information on the contents and expected combustion products of any flammable materials used for practice fires should be given to the fire fighters.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-83-194-1779; Region-4; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazard-Confirmed; Fireman; Combustion-gases; Combustible-materials; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; Fire-Fighters; Hazardous Waste; Fire-Training
106-46-7; 75-09-2; 127-18-4
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
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