Assessment of Volatile Compound Transference through Firefighter Turnout Gear
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SourceInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, Núm. 6
There is high concern about the exposure of firefighters to toxic products or carcinogens resulting from combustion during fire interventions. Firefighter turnout gear is designed to protect against immediate fire hazards but not against chemical agents. Additionally, the decontamination of firefighter personal protective equipment remains unresolved. This study evaluated the feasibility of a screening method based on headspace-gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (HS-GCIMS) in combination with chemometrics (cluster analysis, principal component analysis, and linear discriminant analysis) for the assessment of the transference of volatile compounds through turnout gear. To achieve this, firefighter turnout gears exposed to two different fire scenes (with different combustion materials) were directly analyzed. We obtained a spectral fingerprint for turnout gears that were both exposed and non-exposed to fire scenes. The results showed that (i): the contamination of the turnout gears is different depending on the type of fire loading; and (ii) it is possible to determine if the turnout gear is free of volatile compounds. Based on the latest results, we concluded that HS-GC-IMS can be applied as a screening technique to assess the quality of turnout gear prior to a new fire intervention.
Subjectsvolatile organic compounds (VOCs); fire; occupational risk; toxicity; turnout gear; firefighter; ion mobility spectrometry; chemometrics; combustion products
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