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Q: Fire extinguisher toxicity ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Fire extinguisher toxicity
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: brw12-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 21 Feb 2005 19:43 PST
Expires: 23 Mar 2005 19:43 PST
Question ID: 478457
What is "nuisance dust," such as that found in Sodium Bicarbonate
Kidde fire extinguishers, and is it at all toxic or dangerous?
Subject: Re: Fire extinguisher toxicity
Answered By: skermit-ga on 23 Feb 2005 02:26 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Nuisance dust is classified as particulate powder or dust which may be
inhaled which is not necessarily toxic, but still may harm you through
extended exposure.

Specifically concerning Kidde Sodium Bicarbonate fire extinguishers,
it is not toxic, although it can cause shortness of breath, or
exacerbate existing asthema or other respiratory problems. Its
"unsafe" threshold limit according to the Occupational Safety and
Health Adminsitration is 15 mg/m^3. Also, from the datasheet of the
Kidde fire extinguishers, I found the complete safety data, and have
reproduced it below:


Threshold limit value: ACGIH TLV for particulates not otherwise
classified: 10 mg/m3
OSHA PEL for nuisance dust limit total: 15 mg/m3

Routes of entry:
Inhalation: YES; may be irritant to the respiratory tract.
Eye contact: YES; mildly irritant for a short period.
Skin contact: YES; may be mildly irritating.
Ingestion: NOT an expected route of entry.

Signs and symptoms of overexposure: Acute: Transient cough, shortness
of breath, irritation of airways.
Chronic: This product is not known to cause chronic illness.

Medical conditions generally aggravated by exposure:
Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or other respiratory illness.

Chemical listed as carcinogen or
NTP program: No IARC monographs: No OSHA: No

Emergency and first aid procedures:
Eye contact: Flush with large amounts of water for at least 15
minutes. If irritation
persists, seek medical attention.
Skin contact: Wash with soap and water. If irritation persists, seek
medical attention.
Inhalation: Move victim to fresh air. Seek medical attention if
discomfort continues.
Ingestion: Rinse mouth, drink large amounts of water and induce vomiting. Seek
medical help.

If the formatting is a little hard to read, I've copied the URL to the
datasheet as well.

Thank you for your question.

Request for Answer Clarification by brw12-ga on 08 Mar 2005 10:19 PST
Thanks for the info, which is plenty for a $2 question. It didn't
really answer my question however -- what actually IS nuisance dust,
not just how is it classified? And what does xyz parts per million
mean for someone who has it floating around in the air? I should have
been more specific.
brw12-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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