NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-540-1816, International Association of Fire Fighters, Washington, D.C.
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 85-540-1816, 1987 Jul; :1-13
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters (SIC-2899), the toxicity of the commercially available chimney fire extinguishing product Chimfex was evaluated. In a simulated worse case situation (minimal ventilation and no containment of the extinguisher), area air sampling was performed. Substances detected in the air samples included zinc (7440666), zinc- oxide (1314132), sulfur-dioxide (7446095) barium-oxide (1304285), and cadmium-oxide (1306190). Sulfur-dioxide concentrations ranged from 0.39 to 0.63mg/m3, and cadmium-oxide concentrations ranged from oxide fumes ranged from 6.4 to 48mg/m3 which exceeded the NIOSH recommended ceiling limit of 15mg/mg3 for 15 minutes. The author concludes that a potential health hazard may exist from exposure to zinc-oxide fumes among users of Chimfex if used in poorly ventilated or confined spaces. The author recommends that a statement regarding the principal decomposition products and their health effects be placed on the product, both the container and the extinguisher itself.
NIOSH-Author; HETA-85-540-1816; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Region-3; Firemen; Fire-extinguishing-agents; Zinc-compounds; Cadmium-compounds; Toxic-gases; Hazard-Confirmed; Author Keywords: Chemicals and Chemical Preparations; Fire Extinguishing; Chimfex; Zinc Oxide; Sulfur Dioxide; Barium Oxide; Cadmium Oxide; Carbon Dioxide; Oxides of Nitrogen; Respiratory Protection
7440-66-6; 1314-13-2; 7446-09-5; 1304-28-5; 1306-19-0
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