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Personal carbon monoxide exposures among firefighters at prescribed forest burns in the southeastern United States.
Dunn-KH; Shulman-S; Stock-AL; Naeher-LP
Arch Environ Occup Health 2013 Jan; 68(1):55-59
Exposure to combustion products from wildland fires causes respiratory irritation and decreased lung function among firefighters. The authors evaluated carbon monoxide (CO) exposures of a group of wildland firefighters who conducted prescribed burns in the southeastern United States of America. A total of 149 person-days of samples were collected using data logging CO monitors. A questionnaire was administered to collect data on job tasks and self-reported smoke exposure. Overall, the highest exposures were seen amongst firefighters assigned to holding and mop-up tasks (geometric mean [GM]: 2.6 ppm), whereas the lowest were associated with lighting and jobs such as burn boss (GM: 1.6 and 0.3 ppm, respectively). The self-reported smoke exposure showed a significant linear trend with increasing CO exposure. The numbers of acres burned or burn duration, however, were not good predictors of exposure.
Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Fire-hazards; Forestry; Employee-exposure; Employee-health; Environmental-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Combustion-gases; Combustion-products; Respiratory-irritants; Lung-function; Lung-irritants; Smoke-inhalation; Questionnaires; Health-surveys; Oxides; Author Keywords: carbon monoxide; exposure assessment; prescribed burns; wildland firefighter
Issue of Publication
Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division