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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-88-320-2176, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Reh CM; Deitchman SD
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 88-320-2176, 1992 Feb; :1-41
In response to a request from the National Park Service, an evaluation was begun into worker exposure to forest fire smoke at Yellowstone National Park (SIC-0851), Wyoming. The National Park Service requested assistance in identifying and quantifying exposures to chemicals in smoke and in determining the impact of exposure to this smoke on the forest fire fighter. Investigations were conducted during mop up and fire break construction at three forest fires in 1988. Personal breathing zone air monitoring was conducted for carbon-monoxide (630080) (CO), carbon-dioxide (124389), sulfur-dioxide (7446095), and nitrogen-dioxide (10102440). Sampling was also conducted for aldehydes, volatile organic compounds, total particulates, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Preshift and postshift concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin were determined from blood samples. The CO levels were below the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 35 parts per million. However, when adjustments were made for the length of the workshift, level of work activity, and altitude, results suggested that a potential health hazard may have existed. Medical reports indicated the fire fighters experienced a high degree of eye and upper respiratory tract irritation. The authors conclude that a potential health hazard may exist from exposure to carbon-monoxide. The authors recommend that the use of bandannas as respirators be eliminated. Further exposure assessment and medical research into exposures encountered during fire fighting operations should be conducted.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-88-320-2176; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Air-quality-monitoring; Forestry-workers; Toxic-gases; Fire-hazards; Combustion-products; Occupational-exposure; Fire-fighting; Author Keywords: Forestry Services; forest fire fighting; mop-up; fire break construction; carbon monoxide; sulfur dioxide; particulate matter; carboxyhemoglobin; Coburn, Foster, Kane equation; altitude; extended workshifts
630-08-0; 124-38-9; 7446-09-5; 10102-44-0
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