Evaluating Vehicle Fire Training Inhalation Hazards

BY KENNETH W. FENT, DOUGLAS E. EVANS, JAMES COUCH, AND MAUREEN T. NIEMEIER The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a health hazard evaluation (HHE) request from an Ohio township fire and rescue department concerning potential inhalation exposures during vehicle fire suppression training [see sidebar "The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program"]. Although vehicle fires can be suppressed quickly, they can release hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air, which could cause short-and even long-term health effects over a firefighter's career. Even after a fire is extinguished, the off-gassing of potentially harmful chemicals and particles may contin...

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