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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-0190-2491, International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), Jersey City, New Jersey.
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 91-0190-2491, 1995 Feb; :1-46
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters, an investigation was begun into the health and safety practices used during the handling of a fire at an illegal dumpsite by the Jersey City Fire Department (SIC-9224), Jersey City, New Jersey. The investigation centered around the incident command system, safety management, the arrangements for medical service, and decontamination. High winds and several directional wind shifts hampered operations at the fire scene. Some fire fighters did not wear their self contained breathing apparatus or depleted their supply of air cylinders during the fire. Several fire fighters were treated at the scene for dizziness, mucosal irritation and elevated blood pressure. Abnormalities were noted on the field cardiac monitors for several of the firemen. A total of 171 fire fighters were transported to area hospitals and three were admitted. The fire department indicated that 68 fire fighters received incident related injuries. Findings indicated that exposure to methylene-chloride (75092) may have been responsible for some of the adverse health experiences reported. The authors conclude that it was not possible to determine a definitive environmental cause for the health effects experienced by fire fighters during the dumpsite fire. The authors recommend that changes be made in incident command and safety procedures.
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division