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Compilation of Data on the Sublethal Effects of Fire Effluent



Erica D. Kuligowski


The NRC is developing guidance for performing quantitative human reliability analysis for post-fire mitigative human actions modeled in a fire probability risk assessment. In some of the scenarios, operators are assumed to be exposed to the fire effluent as they perform critical tasks. In this report, NIST provides a review of the state-of-the-art on how narcotic and irritant gases, smoke obscuration, and heat might affect people. Where possible, NIST has identified groupings and/or contradictions for the compiled exposure data. The groupings presented in this report attempt to categorize the fire effluent data into levels of effect on humans, such as incapacitation, potential for serious harm, and light potential harm. With this information, one can estimate how exposure to various fire effluent might affect the operators ability to perform critical procedures during a fire event.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1644
Report Number


Kuligowski, E. (2009), Compilation of Data on the Sublethal Effects of Fire Effluent, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created August 28, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017