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Document ID (ISN)108188
CIS number 08-682
ISSN - Serial title 1877-7856 - Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale
Year 2008
Convention or series no. Fascicule 16539 G 10, 1-2008
Author(s) Baud F.
Title Poisoning by fire smoke
Original title Intoxication par les fumées d'incendie [in French]
Bibliographic information Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 1st Quarter 2008, No.158, 14p. Illus. 52 ref.
Abstract For a long time, the only recognized fire-related hazard to humans has been cutaneous burns. Since the seventies, data on the thermal degradation of materials and experimental toxicity of gases together with clinical and forensic studies have shown that structural fires involve not only thermal but also chemical risks. Residential fires are an important cause of household death caused by smoke toxicity. Smoke exhibits two types of toxicity: respiratory and systemic. Experimental and clinical studies have shown that toxic gases other than carbon monoxide should also be taken into account when assessing smoke toxicity, including cyanide produced by the thermal degradation of natural as well as synthetic material in well defined conditions of low-oxygen concentration and high temperature that are frequently encountered in structural fires. The medical treatment of fire victims is complex because a number of individuals who have faced only low exposures are mixed with truly intoxicated victims. In addition to supportive treatment, specific toxicological treatment includes high flow of oxygen delivered in normobaric and hyperbaric conditions in case of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Hydroxocobalamine has been recently evidenced as a safe antidote towards cyanide in this complex clinical setting. Smoke inhalation may not only cause acute, potentially life-threatening diseases, but may also result in chronic, respiratory or neurological, diseases.
Descriptors (primary) poisoning; France; smoke; toxic gases; fire
Descriptors (secondary) hyperbaric oxygen therapy; methaemoglobinaemia; carbon monoxide; aldehydes; hydrocyanic acid; hydroxocobalamine; toxicology; epidemiology; hypoxia; diagnosis; antidote treatment; oxygen deficiency; synergism; fatalities; medical supervision; medical treatment; encyclopaedia; data sheet; irritants
Document type F - Information notes, codes of practice, standards
Country / State or ProvinceFrance
Subject(s) Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Fires, explosions and major hazards
Chemical safety
Browse category(ies) Fires