NIOSH 2000 Mar; :1-18
On March 30, 1998, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requested assistance in a project to be conducted in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel. The goal of the CDPHE project was to field-test implementation of a wildland firefighter smoke exposure management and monitoring program outlined in earlier National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)-sponsored research. CDPHE also hoped to provide further exposure data related to fuels in areas of the United States other than the Pacific Northwest where much of the previous data had been collected. CDPHE requested assistance from NIOSH to train firefighters in the use of CO dosimeters during wildland fires, and to assist in data collection when the USFS and BLM conducted firefighting activities during the 1998 fire season. NIOSH and CDPHE equipped four crews of wildland firefighters (USFS and BLM) with carbon monoxide (CO) monitors, related equipment for calibration and data transfer, and training for two people from each crew in the use of the monitors. The firefighters monitored CO exposures from 0 to 176 hours (depending upon the crew) during the fire season. During 8 of the 41 monitoring periods, CO exposure concentrations exceeded the NIOSH recommended ceiling exposure limit of 200 parts per million (ppm). During 10 of the 41 sessions, measured CO concentrations exceeded the ACGIH excursion limit of 125 ppm. Time-weighted average exposures were all within current occupational exposure limits. During 2 of the 41 periods (each 480 minutes in length), CO exposure concentrations of 21 and 22 ppm were measured. These exposures approach the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) time-weighted TLV of 25 ppm.
Wildland-firefighter; Airborne-concentration; Occupational-exposure; Communication; Carbon-monoxide-exposure; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8;
Author Keywords: Forestry Services; Wildland firefighter; carbon monoxide; CO; State health department; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; CDPHE; National Wildfire Coordinating Group; NWCG; United States Forestry Service; USFS; Department of Interior; DOI Bureau of Land Management;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health