Test to Assess Toxicity

Issue 9 and Volume 135.

Test to Assess Toxicity A test method to help assess the toxicity of materials when they burn has been developed by researchers at the Commerce Department’s National Bureau of Standards. Since most fire deaths are due to smoke inhalation or hot gases, those concerned about the toxicity of these inhalants have been trying to devise a test method for learning what is given off and in what amounts. The research group consists of representatives from about 20 industrial, academic and governmental research organizations, formed in 1977 to exchange information. Dr. Barbara C. Levin, head of the NBS combustion toxicology research group, says the test method is intended for research and preliminary screening. Besides determining how the material would react in a fire, other factors that must be included are quantity of material present, configuration, temperature at which it releases toxic combustion products, proximity of other combustibles, volume of the compartments…

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