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J Occup Environ Med. 2010 Jan;52(1):81-4. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181c7514a.

A health hazard evaluation of antimony exposure in fire fighters.

Author information

  • 1Division of Surveillance, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA. Mdeperio@cdc.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Some firefighter station uniforms contain the flame-retardant, antimony trioxide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigated a possible outbreak of antimony toxicity wherein 30 firefighters reported elevated antimony levels on hair analyses.

METHODS:

We surveyed and collected urine samples from firefighters not wearing (Fire Department A) and wearing (Fire Department B) antimony-containing pants. Urine antimony concentrations were measured and adjusted for creatinine.

RESULTS:

All 20 participating firefighters from Fire Department A and 41 (97.6%) of 42 participating firefighters from Fire Department B had urine antimony concentrations below or within the national reference range. No differences in urine antimony levels between departments were detected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Wearing antimony-containing uniforms does not pose a risk for antimony toxicity. This investigation highlights the importance of using validated methods for toxicity determination and of accurate, timely risk communication.

PMID:
20042882
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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