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Delia_Evaluating Fire and Smoke Contamination in Indoor Air

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IAQA 18 th Annual Meeting & Indoor Environment & Energy Exposition, Grapevine TX, 16-18 March 2015 IAQA 18th Annual Meeting & Indoor Environment and Energy Expo (IE3) The views and opinions herein are those of the volunteer authors and may not reflect the views and opinions of IAQA. The information is offered in good faith and believed to be reliable but it is provided without warranty, expressed or implied, as to the merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose or any other matter. Evaluating Fire and Smoke Contamination in Indoor Air Alice E. Delia, PhD 1 1 Prism Analytical Technologies, Inc.; 2625 Denison Drive, Mt. Pleasant MI 48858; a.delia@pati-air.com Introduction Evaluation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is one of the most challenging aspects to indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments.This is particularly true of indoor fire and wild fire smoke residues, which can have a significant effect on aesthetic, health, and odor aspects. The complexity of the particulate and chemical residues makes identification of the components specific to the fire challenging. In an assessment of fire and smoke contamination in indoor air the focus is typically on the longer term constituents, not the immediate, often transient, effects. Traditional particulate testing can be complicated by secondary sources and does not address the issue of the characteristic smoky odor that often lingers for months, or even years, or the potential health hazards of the VOCs. Understanding the effect of the VOCs from fire and smoke is critical in determining the level of remaining contamination during and after cleanup. Chemistry of Fire Fire occurs when flammable or combustible material comes into contact with a sufficient quantity of an oxidizer, e.g., oxygen in air, in the presence of a source of sufficient heat and initiates a rapid oxidation reaction. These three components (fuel, oxidizer, and heat) are sometimes referred to as the fire triangle. There is a fourth component necessary for sustaining a fire, a chain reaction whereby the heat of the fire releases further energy that, in turn, maintains the oxidation process and therefore the fire.Heat, light, and various reaction products are released as a result of the fire. 1 A critical aspect of fire affecting the types of reaction products is the completeness of combustion, or the oxidation reaction. In complete combustion the primary products are carbon dioxide and water, but most fires in "normal" conditions contain areas that do not reach that stage, resulting in incomplete combustion, which includes products at all stages of oxidation. These intermediate products can range from hydrocarbons that are unchanged by the fire to furans, aldehydes, ketones, esters, and acids, as well as the carbon dioxide and water from the complete combustion. Types of Fire Most fire and smoke events relating to indoor air involve eitherafire inside the structure (protein, electrical, etc.) that does not consume the structure, a fire involving the structure

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