Advertisement

Evaluation of Accumulated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Asbestiform Fibers on Firefighter Vehicles: Pilot Study

  • Jooyeon HwangEmail author
  • Ritchie Taylor
  • Charles Cann
  • Pauline Norris
  • Vijay Golla
Article
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

Firefighters are exposed to toxicants during fire suppression. Smoke deposits and particle residue from fire suppression accumulate on firefighters’ turnout gear, potentially exposing them to carcinogens and related adverse effects such as cancer. Previous studies have found that firefighters in small, rural fire departments tend to store their turnout gear in vehicles, given the broad response areas and limited number of firefighters. However, the scientific literature has little information regarding residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and asbestiform fibers in vehicles, which present a potential danger for dermal and inhalation exposure. A total of 29 wipe samples were collected from various surfaces in vehicles used to travel to fire sites (n = 10 for fire trucks [FT], n = 19 for personal vehicles [PV]). A polyester fabric wipe (100 cm2) saturated with 70% isopropyl alcohol was applied for each sample. Fifteen different PAHs were quantified using Environmental Protection Agency method 8270D. Eight of the 15 PAHs, which were detected with lower censored data, were considered for further data analysis. These eight were Naphthalene, Naphthalene[1]methyl, Phenanthrene, Anthracene, Fluoranthene, Pyrene, Benz[a]anthracene, and Chrysene. ANOVA of log-transformed concentrations indicated no statistically significant differences between FT and PV (p value > 0.05). However, the level of remaining PAHs in FT was higher than in PV. Using the administered survey, the results of a regression model showed that PAH levels in the vehicles were significantly influenced by container usage (p values < 0.05). Our analyses demonstrated the importance of safe work practices when turnout gear is stored in a vehicle. The knowledge gained through this study will provide firefighters in small, rural fire departments with information critical for implementing needed guidelines on turnout gear storage practices.

Keywords

Exposure assessment Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Asbestiform fibers Fire trucks Personal vehicles 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the firefighters who participated in this pilot study. We also are grateful to the Green River Firefighter Association for assistance in implementing the study. We would like to acknowledge the Western Kentucky University (WKU) graduate students for their assistance during the field studies and data compilations. This study was supported by the WKU Research and Creative Activities Program #17-8001.

References

  1. 1.
    Daniels RD, Bertke S, Dahm MM, et al (2015) Exposure-response relationships for select cancer and non-cancer health outcomes in a cohort of US firefighters from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia (1950–2009). Occup Environ Med 1:1–8.  https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2014-102671 Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Daniels RD, Kubale TL, Yiin JH, et al (2014) Mortality and cancer incidence in a pooled cohort of US firefighters from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia (1950–2009). Occup Environ Med 71:388–397.  https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2013-101662 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tsai RJ, Luckhaupt SE, Schumacher P, et al (2015) Risk of cancer among firefighters in California, 1988–2007. Am J Ind Med 58:715–729.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22466 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Hierarchy of Control. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hierarchy/default.html. Accessed 1 Sept 2019
  5. 5.
    Cook C, Trout D (1998) Health hazard evaluation report, International Association of Fire Fighters. IndianapolisGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Riechmann JA (2005) Firefighters’ PPE just part of the problem. Occup Health Saf 74:10.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13398-014-0173-7.2 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fabian TZ, Borgerson JL, Gandhi PD, et al (2014) Characterization of firefighter smoke exposure. Fire Technol 50:993–1019.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-011-0212-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hsu J-F, Guo H-R, Wang HW, et al (2011) An occupational exposure assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofurans in firefighters. Chemosphere 83:1353–1359.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.02.079 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kirk KM, Logan MB (2015) Firefighting instructors’ exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during live fire training scenarios. J Occup Environ Hyg 12:227–234.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2014.955184 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wingfors H, Nyholm JR, Magnusson R, Wijkmark CH (2018) Impact of fire suit ensembles on firefighter PAH exposures as assessed by skin deposition and urinary biomarkers. Ann Work Expo Health 62:221–231.  https://doi.org/10.1093/annweh/wxx097 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Smith DL, Haller JM, Hultquist EM, et al (2013) Effect of clothing layers in combination with fire fighting personal protective clothing on physiological and perceptual responses to intermittent work and on materials performance test results. J Occup Environ Hyg 10:259–269.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2013.769841 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fent K, Evans D, Booher D, et al (2015) Volatile organic compounds off-gassing from firefighters’ personal protective equipment ensembles after use. J Occup Environ Hyg 12:227–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kirk KM, Logan MB (2015) Structural fire fighting ensembles: accumulation and off-gassing of combustion products. J Occup Environ Hyg 12:376–383.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2015.1006638 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fent KW, Eisenberg J, Snawder J, et al (2014) Systemic exposure to PAHs and benzene in firefighters suppressing controlled structure fires. Ann Occup Hyg 58:830–845.  https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/meu036 Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Alexander BM, Baxter CS (2016) Flame-retardant contamination of firefighter personal protective clothing: a potential health risk for firefighters. J Occup Environ Hyg 13:D148–D155.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2016.1183016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fortmann A, Romero R, Sklar M, et al (2010) Residual tobacco smoke in used cars: futile efforts and persistent pollutants. Nicotine Tob Res 12:1029–1036CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rees V, Connolly G (2006) Measuring air quality to protect children from secondhand smoke in cars. Am J Prev Med 31:363–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Semple S, Apsley A, Galea K, et al (2012) Secondhand smoke in cars: assessing children’s potential exposure during typical journey conditions. Tob Control 21:578–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fromme H, Oddoy A, Lahrz T, Piloty M (1997) Aromatic hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and carbon monoxide inside a car and a subway-train. In: Power H, Tirabassi T, Brebbia CA (eds) Air pollution V: Modelling, Monitoring and Management, pp 727–734, Computational Mechanics Publications, SouthhamptonGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Northcross A, Trinh M, Kim J, et al (2014) Particulate mass and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure from secondhand smoke in the back seat of a vehicle. Tob Control 23:14–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Quintana P, Matt G, Chatfield D, et al (2013) Wipe sampling for nicotine as a marker of thirdhand tobacco smoke contaminantion on surfaces in homes, cars, and hotels. Nicotine Tob Res 15:1555–1563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    National Fire Protection Association (2014) Standard 1851: standard on selection, care, and maintenance of protective ensembles for structural fire fighting and proximity fire fighting. Quincy, MAGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hwang J, Taylor R, Macy G, et al (2018) Working environmental practices of personal protective equipment between career and volunteer firefighters in northwestern Kentucky in the U.S. J Environ Health (2018-JEH-003, in review) Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bolstad-Johnson DM, Burgess JL, Crutchfield CD, et al (2000) Characterization of firefighter exposures during fire overhaul. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 61:636–41.  https://doi.org/10.1202/0002-8894(2000)061 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Caux C, O’Brien C, Viau C (2002) Determination of firefighter exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and benzene during fire fighting using measurement of biological indicators. Appl Occup Environ Hyg 17:379–86.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10473220252864987 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    De Vos A, Cook A, Devine B, et al (2006) Effect of protective filters on fire fighter respiratory health during simulated bushfire smoke exposure. Am J Ind Med 49:740–750CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    ASTDR (2015) Toxicological profile: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Atlanta, GAGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dahm MM, Bertke S, Allee S, Daniels RD (2015) Creation of a retrospective job-exposure matrix using surrogate measures of exposure for a cohort of US career firefighters from San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia. Occup Environ Med 72:670–677.  https://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2014-102790 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Baris D, Garrity TJ, Telles JL, et al (2001) Cohort mortality study of Philadelphia firefighters. Am J Ind Med 39:463–476.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.1040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    IARC (2010) Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans, vol 98, painting, firefighting, and shiftwork. Lyon, FranceGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Guidotti TL, Clough VM (1992) Occupational health concerns of firefighting. Annu Rev Public Health 13:151–171.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.pu.13.050192.001055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Moen BE, Ovrebo S (1997) Assessment of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during firefighting by measurement of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene. J Occup Environ Med 39:515–519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Nadon L, Siemiatycki J, Krewski D, Gerin M (1995) Cancer risk due to occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Am J Ind Med 28:303–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    NIOSH (1998) Method 5506: polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons by HPLC, issue 2, 4th ednGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    NIOSH (1994) Method 5515: polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons by GC, issue 2, 4th ednGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    ACGIH (2017) Threshold limit values for chemical substances and physical agents and biological exposure indices. In: American conference of governmental industrial hygienists, Cincinnati, OhioGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    NIOSH (1994) NIOSH manual of analytical methods (NMAM) 7400, 4th edn: ASBESTOS and OTHER FIBERS by PCM, issue 2.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Du Plessis JL, Eloff FC, Badenhorst CJ, et al (2010) Assessment of dermal exposure and skin condition of workers exposed to nickel at a South African base metal refinery. Ann Occup Hyg 54:23–30.  https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mep080 Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kentucky Fire Commission (2015) Fire statistics and management activitiy 2010–2014. Kentucky Community & Technical College System, VersaillesGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    EPA. US (2014) Method 8270E (SW-846): semivolatile organic compounds by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    ASTM (1999) American society for testing and materials D6480. West Conshohocken, PAGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Huynh T, Ramachandran G, Banerjee S, et al (2014) Comparison of methods for analyzing left-censored occupational exposure data. Ann Occup Hyg 58:1126–1142.  https://doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/meu067 Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Nisbet ICT, LaGoy PK (1992) Toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 16:290–300.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0273-2300(92)90009-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Samburova V, Zielinska B, Khlystov A (2017) Do 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons represent PAH air toxicity? Toxics 5:17.  https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5030017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Adetona O, Dunn K, Hall DB, et al (2011) Personal PM2.5 exposure among wildland firefighters working at prescribed forest burns in Southeastern United States. J Occup Environ Hyg 8:503–511.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2011.595257 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Jankovic J, Jones W, Burkhart J, Noonan G (1991) Environmental study of firefighters. Ann Occup Hyg 35:581–602Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Fent KW, Evans DE (2011) Assessing the risk to firefighters from chemical vapors and gases during vehicle fire suppression. J Environ Monit 13:536–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Baxter CS, Hoffman JD, Knipp MJ, et al (2014) Exposure of firefighters to particulates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. J Occup Environ Hyg 11:D85–D91.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15459624.2014.890286 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Fent KW, Eisenberg J, Evans D, et al (2013) Evaluation of dermal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in fire fighters: Report No. 2010-0156-3196, NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation ProgramGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    NIOSH (2010) NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards, DHHS Publication No. 2010-168c. Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Hudson College of Public HealthUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Environmental and Occupational Health Science, Department of Public Health, College of Health and Human ServicesWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  3. 3.Division for Air Quality, Kentucky Department for Environmental ProtectionOwensboro Regional OfficeOwensboroUSA
  4. 4.Advanced Materials Institute, Center for Research and DevelopmentWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations