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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-040-2315, Anchorage Fire Department, Anchorage, Alaska.
Lenhart SW; Burroughs GE; Pfirman DM
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 93-040-2315, 1993 May; :1-20
In response to a request from the Fire Chief of the Anchorage Fire Department (SIC-9224), Anchorage, Alaska, an investigation was begun into possible hazards associated with irritant smoke used for fit testing of self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Four of 186 fire fighters had reported experiencing either skin irritation or eye irritation resulting from qualitative fit tests using irritant smoke from air flow indicator tubes containing stannic-chloride. Particle size analysis of the smoke emitted from air flow indicator tubes was conducted, and the concentration of hydrogen-chloride (7647010) produced by these tubes was measured. Count median diameters of the smoke ranged from 0.33 to 0.63 micrometers with geometric standard deviations ranging from 1.35 to 2.13. Concentrations of hydrogen-chloride measured without a hood in place on a day with low relative humidity ranged from less than 1 part per million (ppm) to 2,700ppm. Similar measurements on a day with high relative humidity ranged from 100ppm to 11,900ppm. The authors conclude that exposure to the fume from the smoke tubes should be considered a health risk due to the high concentrations of hydrogen- chloride. The authors recommend that fit tests be conducted with the full facepiece air purifying versions of the facepieces used with the SCBAs.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-040-2315; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-10; Firemen; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-irritants; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; fire fighting; hydrogen chloride; irritant smoke; respirator fit testing
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