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Hazmat firefighters: medical and incident surveillance.
NIOSH 1999 Jul; :1-39
This contract investigated hazardous materials incidents to determine what chemicals were involved, who the associated victims were and what were their exposures, and what were the results of these exposures. Also investigated was causation together with the industries/activites involved. The chemicals most frequently involved were various hydrocarbons and corrosive materials. Chlorine derivatives were found to be a significant exposure while respiratory symptoms were important. Accidents included explosions, fires, spills, and leaks among others. Also, a cohort of 340 firefighters was studied. Various physical, medical and laboratory examinations were performed and fitness for duty was assessed. Endpoints included blood pressure, visual acuity, audiometry and spirometry. Due to potential exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, medical surveillance included determination of red blood cell cholinesterase (AChE). Age was also studied in detail as related to AChE. Another important endpoint was the determination of body mass index and correlation with blood pressure, forced vital capacity, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, serum cholesterol, and overall morbidity scores. Measures of predicted coronary heart disease risk (CHD) were also developed. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines were also considered for several study components.
Emergency responders; Emergency response; Fire fighters; Fire fighting; Fire safety; Medical screening; Medical examinations; Medical monitoring; Blood pressure; Cholinesterase inhibitors; Hazardous materials; Audiometry; Spirometry; Age factors; Visual motor performance; Visual motility; Laboratory testing; Respiratory function tests; Respiratory system disorders; Pulmonary function tests; Pulmonary function; Epidemiology; Chlorine compounds; Hydrocarbons; Heart
Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, Occupational Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Occupational Medicine, Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: March 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division