Free Radical Production from Controlled Low-Energy Fires: Toxicity Considerations

    Volume 30, Issue 1 (January 1985)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 January 1985

    Page Count: 13


    Petty, CS
    Chief medical examiner; director, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, TX

    Badgett, JL
    Dallas County fire marshal, Dallas, TX

    Peterson, J
    Professor of biochemistry, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, TX

    Lowry, WT
    Chief, Regulated Substances Section, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, TX

    (Received 24 February 1984; accepted 7 May 1984)

    Abstract

    Most fire departments respond within the first 5 min of notification of a fire. If fire victims are found at that stage by the firefighters, then incapacitation or death has occurred during the initial low-energy phase where smoke is being produced. Studies have shown that during this initial low-energy phase of the fire, gases commonly thought responsible for incapacitation or death are frequently not present in concentrations adequate to cause this result. In the current study free radicals, measured by electron spin resonance spectroscopy, were trapped in concentrations that we consider incapacitating, thus providing an explanation for “incapacitation without cause.” This finding points the way to the design of more efficient temporary protective equipment for those who are in a high fire hazard environment, such as airline passengers, and suggests the idea of establishing a thermodynamic marker for the relative toxicity of building materials.


    Paper ID: JFS10966J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10966J

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    Author
    Title Free Radical Production from Controlled Low-Energy Fires: Toxicity Considerations
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30