In 2002, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asked the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute (S&TPI) to develop personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines for emergency responders required to work near or on the remains of recently collapsed tall buildings. With the cessation of the RAND Corporation's management of S&TPI in November 2003, publication of this work is now occurring under the auspices of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE). The evaluation considers the full range of emergency workers who are likely to respond to a large structural collapse, including local fire, medical, and hazardous material teams as well as police officers and urban search and rescue teams. This effort emphasizes incidents at residential or commercial tall buildings but does not address PPE needs for incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. The project focuses on the first several days following a structural collapse, since that is when the hazards are highest, the response is most intense, and the site-specific exposure monitoring may not be available. It is during these conditions that hazardous exposures are likely to be the greatest and most uncertain. The NIOSH/RAND team has adopted a four-part approach to develop these guidelines: 1. Characterize the response mission and hazards to emergency responders at building collapse sites. 2. Assess the short- and long-term health effects to emergency responders of exposure to the hazards identified in step 1. 3. Identify PPE options that will protect the various groups of emergency responders from the hazards they are likely to encounter. 4. Provide recommendations for PPE options, highlighting PPE limitations and important training, use, and maintenance issues. This report is the second of two volumes that describe the results of the research. It addresses the second objective in the above list by reviewing the possible health effects to emergency responders from exposure to conditions following a tall building collapse. The first volume, Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 4: Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines for Large Structural Collapses (MG-425-NIOSH), addresses objectives 1, 3, and 4 in the above list. The primary purpose of these reports is to serve as a technical source for incident commander guidelines that have been developed by NIOSH for broad distribution to the disaster management and emergency responder communities. In addition, these reports should be of interest to organizations responsible for developing equipment, standards, guidelines, and regulations for the protection of emergency responders.
Personal-protective-equipment; Emergency-response; Emergency-responders; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-health; Occupational-accidents; Accidents; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Fire-fighters; Police-officers; Medical-personnel; Hazards; Hazardous-materials