Chapter 14: Acute Effects of Combinations of Toxicologically Active Substances and Heat on Fire Victims in Buildings and during Exposures to Outdoor Smoke Plumes
Published:16 Oct 2015
D. A. Purser, in Toxicology, Survival and Health Hazards of Combustion Products, ed. D. A. Purser, R. L. Maynard, and J. C. Wakefield, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015, ch. 14, pp. 428-488.
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This chapter describes fractional effective dose methods for calculating the acute effects on fire victims during and after exposure to the combinations of smoke particulates, toxic gases and heat encountered in fires. The methods have been developed to enable calculation of the times during and after exposure at a fire scene when exposed subjects are predicted to suffer the following: significant impairment of escape capability and incapacitation due to the effects of exposure to high concentrations of irritant smoke; incapacitation (loss of consciousness) from accumulated exposure doses of asphyxiant gases (CO, HCN, CO2 and low O2) and irritants; pain to exposed skin from heat stimulation of pain receptors, partial and full-thickness skin and respiratory tract burns; exposure doses of lung irritants (vapours and particulates) sufficient to result in post-exposure lung inflammation and oedema; lethal exposure doses of asphyxiant gases. The derivation of the methods is described as well as their application to fire hazard analysis using time–concentration curve data for smoke particulates, toxic fire gases, radiant and convective heat from a set of experimental fires. Examples of applications to fire incident investigations are also presented in which the methods have been validated against data from exposed subjects. The evaluation of effects of outdoor exposures to smoke plumes is also considered in terms of exposure concentrations and exposure doses from different types of fires likely to cause adverse health effects, particularly odour and mild respiratory tract irritancy.