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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.

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



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.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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