Respiratory irritants in Australian bushfire smoke : air toxics sampling in a smoke chamber and during prescribed burns

Annemarie De Vos, F. Reisen, A. Cook, Brian Devine, Philip Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bushfire smoke contains an array of organic and inorganic compounds, including respirable and inspirable particles, aldehydes, and carbon monoxide. These compounds have been found to be a health hazard for firefighters in the United States. Despite the high frequency of bushfires in Australia, analyses of bushfire smoke components are scarce. As part of an occupational health study investigating the respiratory health effects of bushfire smoke in firefighters, air toxics sampling was undertaken in a smoke chamber and during prescribed burns. Levels of formaldehyde and acrolein were demonstrated at respectively 60% and 80% of the Short Term Exposure Limit in the smoke chamber. Carbon monoxide levels exceeded the peak limit of 400 ppm significantly. Although concentrations were lower during the prescribed burns, the study shows that Australian bushfire smoke contains air toxics of concern and provides justification for further research into the levels of air toxics measured at bushfires and the associated health impacts
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-388
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Respiratory irritants in Australian bushfire smoke : air toxics sampling in a smoke chamber and during prescribed burns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this