Release of volatile and semi-volatile toxicants during house fires

Fiona Hewitt (Corresponding Author), Antonis Christou, Kathryn Dickens, Richard Walker, Anna Stec (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Qualitative results are presented from analysis of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs/SVOCs) obtained through sampling of gaseous effluent and condensed particulates during a series of experimental house fires conducted in a real house. Particular emphasis is given to the 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) listed by the Environmental Protection Agency due to their potentially carcinogenic effects. The initial fuel packages were either cooking oil or a single sofa; these were burned both alone, and in furnished surroundings. Experiments were performed at different ventilation conditions. Qualitative Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis found VOC/SVOC releases in the developing stages of the fires, and benzo(a)pyrene – the most carcinogenic PAH – was found in at least one sampling interval in the majority of fires. A number of phosphorus fire retardants were detected, in both the gaseous effluent and particulates, from fires where the initial fuel source was a sofa. Their release during the fire is significant as they pose toxicological concerns separate from those presented by the PAHs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-593
Number of pages13
JournalChemosphere
Volume173
Early online date27 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Fingerprint

Fire houses
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
Fires
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Gaseous effluents
Volatile organic compounds
volatile organic compound
PAH
Flame Retardants
Sampling
Volatile Organic Compounds
Benzo(a)pyrene
Pyrene
effluent
Cooking
Environmental Protection Agency
Flame retardants
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Gas chromatography
Phosphorus

Keywords

  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • real-scale fire experiments
  • house fires
  • phosphorus fire retardants

Cite this

Hewitt, F., Christou, A., Dickens, K., Walker, R., & Stec, A. (2017). Release of volatile and semi-volatile toxicants during house fires. Chemosphere, 173, 580-593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.079

Release of volatile and semi-volatile toxicants during house fires. / Hewitt, Fiona (Corresponding Author); Christou, Antonis ; Dickens, Kathryn ; Walker, Richard ; Stec, Anna (Corresponding Author).

In: Chemosphere, Vol. 173, 04.2017, p. 580-593.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hewitt, F, Christou, A, Dickens, K, Walker, R & Stec, A 2017, 'Release of volatile and semi-volatile toxicants during house fires', Chemosphere, vol. 173, pp. 580-593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.12.079
Hewitt, Fiona ; Christou, Antonis ; Dickens, Kathryn ; Walker, Richard ; Stec, Anna. / Release of volatile and semi-volatile toxicants during house fires. In: Chemosphere. 2017 ; Vol. 173. pp. 580-593.
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