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Compilation of Data on the Sublethal Effects of Fire Effluent.

pdf icon Compilation of Data on the Sublethal Effects of Fire Effluent. (263 K)
Kuligowski, E. D.

NIST TN 1644; NIST Technical Note 1644; 46 p. August 2009.


fire effluents; fire research; toxicity; smoke; human response; scenarios; human beings; irritants; animals; temperature effects; physiological effects; exposure; carbon monoxide; hydrogen cyanide; hydrogen chloride; hydrogen fluoride; hydrogen bromide; acrolein; formaldehyde; nitrogen dioxide


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is developing guidance for performing quantitative human reliability analysis for post-fire mitigative human actions. In some of the scenarios, operators may be exposed to fire effluent as they perform critical tasks. In this report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a review of the state-of-the-art on how fire effluent might affect people. The available scientific literature on the effects of narcotic and irritant gases, smoke obscuration, and heat on humans and animals were reviewed. The fire effluent data presented in this report are categorized by levels of effect on humans; specifically 1) minor physiological effects that are unlikely affect job performance or duties, 2) moderate to major physiological effects that may negatively influence job performance or duties, and 3) major physiological effects that may render an individual unable to perform his/her job duties. Where possible, NIST has identified groupings and/or contradictions for the compiled exposure data. With this information, one can estimate how exposure to various fire effluent might affect the operators' ability to perform critical procedures during a fire event.