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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Nature of Smoke

Toxicity of Smoke

Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation is a special case of smoke toxicity. Data on oxygen deprivation alone, without any other combined gas effects, suggest that incapacitation occurs when oxygen levels drop to approximately 10 percent (Kimmerle 1974Kimmerle 1974
Kimmerle, G. 1974. Aspects and methodology for the evaluation of toxicological parameters during fire exposure. JFF/Combustion Toxicology 1: 4-51.)

Exposure to decreased oxygen levels alone is very unlikely in a fire. More commonly expected is some reduction in oxygen levels together with the presence of CO CO:
Carbon Monoxide, CO2 CO2:
Carbon Dioxide, and other toxic species. Such combinations have been explored, providing a few experimental points (Levin, B.C. et al. 1987Levin, B.C. et al. 1987
Levin, B.C. et al. 1987. Effects of exposure to single or multiple combinations of the predominant toxic gases and low oxygen atmospheres produced in fires. Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 9(2): 236-250.).

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Toxicity from fire atmospheres can result not only from gases but also from solid aerosols or from material adsorbed onto soot particles. Data in this field are almost nonexistent (Stone, J.P., R.N. Hazlett, L.E. Johnson, and H.W. Carhart. 1973. The transport of hydrogen chloride by soot from burning polyvinyl chloride. J. Fire & Flamm. 4: 42-51.)
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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