Toxicity of Smoke During Chair Smoldering Tests and Small Scale Tests Using the Same Materials.
Toxicity of Smoke During Chair Smoldering Tests and
Small Scale Tests Using the Same Materials.
Alarie, Y. C.; Stock, M. F.; Matijak-Schaper, M.; Birky,
Fundamental and Applied Toxicology, Vol. 3, No. 6,
toxicity; smoke; chairs; smoldering; small scale fire
Toxicological evaluation of smoke produced smoldering
chair tests was undertaken by exposing mice to smoke
emitted prior to, as well as following, flaming ignition
of the chairs. By exposing several groups of mice, using
undiluted smoke from the room containing the chairs, as
well as various dilutions of the smoke, different levels
of acute lethality were obtained. From these
experiments, chairs constructed with polyurethane foam
were found to create higher toxic atmosphers than chairs
constructed with polyester or cotton fiber cushions.
The same materials (polyurethane foam, polyester and
cotton fibers) were also thermally decomposed in a small
scale system and mice were exposed to the smoke to
evaluate acute toxicity. Again polyurethane foam was
found to produce smoke more toxic than smoke produced by
polyester and cotton fibers. Sensory irritation
monitored in mice during the smoldering tests indicated
that an intense level of irritation was present long
before large amounts of smoke were generated and long
before flaming ignition occurred. The phenomenon of
eye, nose and throat irritation would therefore be the
first effect impeding escape attempts of individuals in
a fire situation. Sensory irritation was followed by
asphyxiation as evolution of carbon monoxide or hydrogen
cyanide, or both, occurred. The same pattern of
responses was observed with smoke generated with the
small scale decomposition system.