Health risks associated with the use of irritant smoke for qualitatively fit testing respirator facepieces were evaluated by NIOSH at the request of a municipal fire department. Fire fighters had been fit tested while wearing a self contained breathing apparatus in the pressure demand mode. Irritant smoke from air flow indicator tubes was puffed into a test hood over the head and facepiece. Four fire fighters experienced skin irritation or eye irritation after fit testing. The investigation involved particle size analysis of the smoke, and measurement of hydrogen-chloride (7647010) (HCl) levels produced by air flow indicator tubes. Particles were analyzed by laser aerosol spectrophotometry. HCl was measured using a portable air monitor. Results showed that HCl levels measured without the hood in place on a day with low (14%) relative humidity (RH) was less than 1 part per million (ppm), and on a day with high (53%) RH ranged from 100ppm at a distance of 6 inches from the tubing inlet to 11,900ppm at 2 inches. Six measurements at 12 inches did not detect HCl. The author concludes that the sampling results provide evidence that high concentrations of HCl are emitted from irritant smoke fumes in environments with low and high RH, and that exposure to the fumes should be considered a health risk. It is recommended that quantitative fit tests be conducted for facepieces as with other fire fighting equipment, but that they be done without the self contained breathing apparatus. Instead, full facepiece air purifying versions should be used.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
Cookies used to make website functionality more relevant to you. These cookies perform functions like remembering presentation options or choices and, in some cases, delivery of web content that based on self-identified area of interests.
Cookies used to track the effectiveness of CDC public health campaigns through clickthrough data.
Cookies used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on CDC.gov through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes by these third parties.