"On January 16, 1982, a fire occurred in a warehouse belonging to the Polyscience Corporation in Houston, Texas. The warehouse contained several thousand pounds of polyvinyl chloride in the form of pellets. On January 25, 1982, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was requested to document the prevalence and severity of health effects that had occurred in fire fighters exposed at the Polyscience fire and determine whether the fire had led to lasting adverse health effects. The request, which was submitted by the International Association of Fire Fighters, stated that firemen were experiencing skin disorders and other health effects and that these symptoms may have been caused by exposure to smoke and fumes during the fire. The concern over the exposure was increased by the documented carcinogenic properties of vinyl chloride. [...] The results of this survey show that a large proportion of the fire fighters suffered acute effects due to exposure to smoke and fumes. The persisting respiratory symptoms, that some of the fire fighters were experiencing at the time of the survey, may also have been due to this exposure. However, these symptoms are more likely related to the accumulated effects of several years repeated exposure to high levels of smoke and fumes and to a certain extent perhaps attributable to the overall demanding nature of the job."
HETA # 82-114-1097; Health Evaluation and Technical Assistance Report Number 82-114-1097
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/