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Silva Lusitana

versão impressa ISSN 0870-6352


MIRANDA, Ana Isabel et al. Air Quality and Firefighter's Exposure to Experimental Forest Fires' Smoke. Silva Lus. [online]. 2011, vol.19, n.1, pp.23-40. ISSN 0870-6352.

Smoke pollution due to forest fire events is an important public health issue for the communities directly affected, and particularly for the personnel involved in firefighting operations. Aiming to contribute to the scientific knowledge concerning firefighter's exposure to forest fires smoke, data of individual exposure to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter were obtained during experimental field fires in 2008 in the central region of Portugal. The study focused on a group of ten firefighters equipped with portable "in continuum" measuring devices of exposure to these pollutants. Measured values are very high, exceeding the air quality limit values imposed by the European Union to protect human health and the recommended values by World Health Organization. These measurements indicate that urgent measures are needed to prevent exposure to levels likely to cause harm to health, namely those concerning the respiratory protection in firefighting operations during forest fires.

Palavras-chave : Experimental fires; exposure monitoring; carbon monoxide; particulate matter; human health.

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