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Detecting Chemical Vapor Diffusion through Firefighter Turnout Gear

NCJ Number
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Volume: 18 Issue: 9 Dated: 2021
Date Published

In this reported project, a novel passive sampling dosimeter device containing firefighter turnout gear as a diffusion membrane and an activated charcoal strip (ACS) for volatile analyte collection was designed and used to monitor potential exposures of firefighters to volatile organic compounds.


Firefighters are exposed to burning materials that may release toxic partial combustion and pyrolysis products into the environment, including compounds listed as priority pollutants by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the current study, solvent extracts from the ACS and turnout gear diffusion layer were analyzed using Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine the diffusion of compounds from burned substrates through firefighter turnout gear and compound adsorption to the turnout gear. The compounds in these samples were identified using target factor analysis (TFA). An activated carbon layer (ACL) was added to the dosimeter between the turnout gear and the ACS. The presence of combustion and pyrolysis compounds identified on the ACS in the dosimeter was reduced. (publisher abstract modified)


Date Published: January 1, 2021