NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-375-1861, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Los Angeles, California.

Anderson KE; Melius 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 85-375-1861, 1988 Jan; :1-23
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters, a study was made of possible toxic exposures experienced by fire fighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department (SIC-9224), paramedics, and police officers during a chemical warehouse fire at Research Organic, Inorganic Chemical Corporation, Sun Valley, California. Numerous flammable, corrosive, and reactive compounds were stored at the warehouse at the time of the fire. Medical questionnaires and baseline pulmonary function tests were administered to 98 individuals who were associated with the fire. Dermatological problems with rashes lasting more than 1 day after the fire were reported by 18 fire fighters and nine police officers. Neurotoxic symptoms of fatigue, forgetfulness, irritability, headaches, and difficulty sleeping were also reported. The neurotoxic symptoms lasted from a month to over a year. The authors conclude that the symptoms experienced by those working at the fire site are associated with exposures during the fire. Recommendations arising from this fire include the establishment of a response team with comprehensive training, state of the art protective equipment, protocols for addressing medical evaluation and decontamination issues, environmental sampling capability, and coordination with other emergency disaster responders. Routine medical evaluations for police and fire fighters are recommended. Good emergency medical care should be available for these workers.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-85-375-1861; Region-9; Hazard-Confirmed; Firemen; Policemen; Personal-protective-equipment; Author Keywords: Fire Fighters; Chemical Fires; Smoke Inhalation
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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