Accession Number : ADA292919

Title :   Aircraft Fires, Smoke Toxicity, and Survival. An Overview.

Descriptive Note : Final rept.,

Corporate Author : FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE

Personal Author(s) : Chaturvedi, Arvind K. ; Sanders, Donald C.

PDF Url : ADA292919

Report Date : FEB 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 8

Abstract : In-flight fires in modern aircraft are rare, but post-crash fires do occur. Cabin occupants frequently survive initial forces of such crashes but are incapacitated from smoke inhalation. According to an international study, there were 95 fire-related civil passenger aircraft accidents world-wide over a 26-year period, claiming 2400 lives. Between 1985-1991, about 16% (32) of all US transport aircraft accidents involved fire and 22% (140) of the deaths in these accidents resulted from fire/smoke toxicity. Our laboratory database (1967-1993) indicates that 360 individuals in 134 fatal fire-related civil aircraft (air carrier and general aviation) accidents had carboxyhemoglobin saturation levels, with or without cyanide in blood, high enough to impair performance. Combustion toxicology is now moving from a descriptive to a mechanistic phase. Methods for gas analyses have been developed and combustion/animal-exposure assemblies have been constructed. Material/fire-retardant toxicity and interactions between smoke gases are being studied. Relationships between gas exposure concentrations, blood levels, and incapacitation onset are being established in animal models. Continuing basic research in smoke toxicity will be necessary to understand its complexities, and thus enhance aviation safety and fire survival chances.

Descriptors :   *TOXICITY, *SMOKE, *AIRCRAFT FIRES, DATA BASES, MATERIALS, GAS ANALYSIS, SURVIVAL(GENERAL), GASES, SATURATION, COMBUSTION, AVIATION ACCIDENTS, INFLIGHT, ANIMALS, LABORATORIES, INTERNATIONAL, CYANIDES, AVIATION SAFETY, HEMOGLOBIN, TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT, AIR TRANSPORTATION, BLOOD COUNTS, CARBOXYLIC ACIDS, TOXICOLOGY, CRASHES, INCAPACITATION, BLOOD VOLUME, FIRE RESISTANT MATERIALS, INHALATION, ACCIDENTS.

Subject Categories : Toxicology
      Military Aircraft Operations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE