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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. directly, or smoke intrusion from an external source such as a wild fire.In the first two scenarios the concerninvolves how much of the reaction products are retained and how much are escaping the indoor environment and in the third scenario of smoke intrusion the concern is how much of the reaction products are infiltrating the indoor environment. Each of these fire types will exhibit some differences in the products generated because of the differences in the fuels consumed in the fire. For example,in a protein, or food-related, fire a variety of hydrocarbons as well as aromatics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and carbonylsare expected 10 , whereas in a cellulose material based fire the composition shifts to include more of the substituted phenols. 2,3,8,9 Wild fires may be more homogeneous in their products since the primary fuel is always biomass. 8,9 Reaction Products Fire and smoke produces hundreds of chemicals from a variety of chemical classes and a range of volatilities, many of which are indistinguishable from chemical products generated by other sources. In some cases, these products may also provide some information on the type of material that burned. The range of chemical products generated from fire and smoke makes an analysis of all reaction products impractical. Therefore, most chemical assessments of complex processes like fire and smoke focus on specific indicators, or markers, that can be used as surrogates to represent the components that are not directly measured.Two key factors influence the choice of indicators: the uniqueness of the indicator (i.e., an indicator that has few, if any, other sources) and the ease of analytical determination. Determining appropriate indicators is a challenging task since the range of fire types, conditions, and specific situations is extensive. The process begins with a review of published literature to establish an initial set of target chemical compounds 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 and proceeds through evaluation of results from in-house and situational samples.From these data, several chemical compounds emerged as suitable indicators of the presence of fire or smoke residue. These indicators include VOCs with a range of volatilities from light weight to semi-volatile and incorporate a variety of chemical classes. The most prominent indicators include chemical compounds such as cresols, creosol, guaicols, and some of the PAHs. Sampling & Analysis Appropriate sampling protocol is essential to accurately evaluate residual VOC contamination. Often, initial cleanup will appear to be successful in removing surface and odor contamination, but VOCs can permeate many of the building and occupant materials and be re- emitted from those materials over time. There are several sample media options as described below.

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