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Human Exposure and Environmental Impact



E Braun, Richard D. Peacock, Glenn P. Forney, George W. Mulholland, Barbara C. Levin


Although these agents are typically employed in unoccupied sections of an aircraft, the possibility of human exposure still exists during handling, storage, and transport. Thus, it is important to know if the accidental release of the 12 agents in areas of typical occupancy would result in differing threats to life safety. At least two topics are important in assessing the impact of a potential release of an agent: 1) how does the agent distribute in an occupied space upon an accidental release, and 2) how does this release affect personnel who may be exposed? For the former, a series of tests was conducted to study the release of four of the twelve agents in a sealed compartment to measure the airborne concentration of agent that results from complete venting of containers of typical size into spaces of typical volume. These tests were augmented with field modeling to extend the range of the test results to other compartment geometries. For the latter, published toxicological results for chronic or acute exposure are summarized. It is important to note that in these tests, no humans were exposed.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 861
Report Number


halons, exposure, human beings, environmental effects, halon 1301, large scale fire tests, toxicity, accidents, compartments, experiments, temperature distribution, fire extinguishing agents, fire suppression, halon alternatives


Braun, E. , Peacock, R. , Forney, G. , Mulholland, G. and Levin, B. (1994), Human Exposure and Environmental Impact, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created April 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018