A health hazard evaluation of antimony exposure in fire fighters.
de Perio-MA; Durgam-S; Caldwell-KL; Eisenberg-J
J Occup Environ Med 2010 Jan; 52(1):81-84
Objectives: Some firefighter station uniforms contain the flame-retardant, antimony trioxide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigated a possible outbreak of antimony toxicity wherein 30 firefighters reported elevated antimony levels on hair analyses. Methods: We surveyed and collected urine samples from firefighters not wearing (Fire Department A) and wearing (Fire Department B) antimony-containing pants. Urine antimony concentrations were measured and adjusted for creatinine. Results: All 20 participating firefighters from Fire Department A and 41 (97.6%) of 42 participating firefighters from Fire Department B had urine antimony concentrations below or within the national reference range. No differences in urine antimony levels between departments were detected. Conclusions: Wearing antimony-containing uniforms does not pose a risk for antimony toxicity. This investigation highlights the importance of using validated methods for toxicity determination and of accurate, timely risk communication.
Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting-equipment; Fire-protection-equipment; Emergency-responders; Flame-retardants; Heavy-metals;
Marie A. de Perio, MD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, 4676 Columbia Pkwy, R-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine