Recommendations on Sampling for Hazard Control in Civil Protection

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Udo Bachmann, Walter Biederbick, Nahid Derakshani Matthias Drobig, Jens-Tarek Eisheh, Mario Koenig, Ralph Maier Joachim Mentfewitz, Bärbel Niederwöhrmeier, Hartmut Prast Dieter Sebastian, Gerhard Uelpenich, Marc Vidmayer Stefan Wilbert, Manfred Wolf
Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance
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These recommendations on CBRN-sampling (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) were developed by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, in cooperation with representatives of different expert institutions (Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Robert Koch-Institute, Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection, Regional Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection of North RhineWestphalia, Research Centre Karlsruhe) as well as representatives from the fire brigade ­sector (professional fire brigade of Mannheim, fire brigade of Herzogenrath and the plant fire brigade of Merck).

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First responders handbook: Hazardous materials CBRNE

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Release date: 
February 2014

This handbook for hazardous materials was produced by virtue of Nordic collaboration in accordance with the Haga Declaration. Local and national representatives from the fire & rescue service, emergency medical services (EMS), and the police in Sweden and Norway cooperated on producing the handbook.

The handbook is intended for use by the first responders of the emergency services from the moment they receive an alarm up to the first 30 minutes on scene at an incident.

Entry of a confined space on board the cargo ship SUNTIS in Goole Docks, Humberside on 26 May 2014 resulting in three fatalities

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Marine Accident Investigation Branch
© Crown copyright, 2014
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This document, containing safety lessons, has been produced for marine safety purposes only, on the basis of information available to date.

The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 provide for the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents to make recommendations at any time during the course of an investigation if, in his opinion, it is necessary or desirable to do so.

In co-operation with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), the German Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) is carrying out an investigation into the deaths of three crew members from the German flagged cargo vessel, Suntis, in Goole Docks on 26 May 2014.

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Evaluation of Dermal Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Fire Fighters

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Kenneth W. Fent, PhD, CIH; Judith Eisenberg, MD, MS; Doug Evans, PhD; Deborah Sammons; Shirley Robertson; Cindy Striley, PhD; John Snawder, PhD; Charles Mueller, MS; Vance Kochenderfer; Joachim Pleil, PhD; Matthew Stiegel, PhD; Gavin P. Horn, PhD
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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The Health Hazard Evaluation Program carried out a study at a fire service training facility to
determine if airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other aromatic hydrocarbons
generated during live fire training contaminate and pass through the skin of fire fighters.

What We Did
● In each of two rounds, we evaluated three controlled structure burns (one per day). Five fire fighters participated in each burn.
● We sampled PAHs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate in air.
● We collected breath and urine samples before and after each burn. We analyzed the breath samples for aromatic hydrocarbons and the
urine samples for PAH breakdown products.
● We took wipe samples on fire fighters’ skin to measure PAH contamination before and right after each burn.
● We measured VOCs released from turnout gear before and after each burn.
● We tested the SCBA equipment to make sure it worked properly.

What We Found
● We detected possible cancer-causing PAHs and VOCs in air.
● Some PAH air levels were above occupational exposure limits during overhaul.
● All VOC air levels were below occupational exposure limits during overhaul.
● Some VOCs were released from the fire fighters’ gear after the fire response. The air levels of these compounds were well below occupational exposure limits.
● The PAH levels on fire fighters’ necks were higher right after the burns than before. PAHs were not found on other areas of fire fighters’ skin.
● Levels of benzene, an aromatic hydrocarbon, in fire fighters’ breath were higher right after the burns than before. However, fire fighters did not have elevated levels of benzene breakdown products in their urine.
● In the first round of our study, levels of PAH breakdown products were higher in urine samples collected 3 hours after the burns than in samples collected before the burns.
● The levels of PAHs and benzene in fire fighters’ bodies were similar to levels in occupational groups with low exposures to these compounds.
● Most fire fighters wore properly working SCBA. The PAHs and benzene likely entered their bodies through their skin.

What We Recommend
● Require fire fighters to wear full protective ensembles, including SCBA, during knockdown
and overhaul for all fire responses. Provide fire fighters with long hoods that are unlikely to
come untucked.
● Provide as much natural ventilation as possible to burned structures before starting
● Remove SCBA and hood last when removing gear. Take off gear before entering a
rehab area.
● Store gear on the outside of the apparatus when riding back to the station.
● Wash hands immediately and shower as soon as possible after a fire response.

Chemical advisory: safe storage, handling, and management of ammonium nitrate

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Environment Protection Agency ; Occupational Safety and Health Administration ; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
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The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the explosion in West, Texas, involving AN in order to prevent similar incidents.