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Protecting Workers from Toxic. Fumes Generated by Explosives
  • Published Date:
    1/1/2000
Filetype[PDF - 456.89 KB]


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  • Description:
    In any construction project involving explosives, care must be taken to protect workers from carbon monoxide (CO) generated by blasting operations. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause illness and death by asphyxiation. In general, the first symptoms include headache, fatigue and lightheadedness. At higher exposures to CO, skin flushing, rapid heart rate, and lowered blood pressure occur. At ever, higher exposure levels, decreased attention span is followed by nausea, vomiting, unpaired coordination, fainting, coma, convulsions and, finally, death. The detonation of explosives in blasting operations generates a range of toxic fumes, but CO is the most insidious because it is colorless, odor less, and is long lasting, since it is not readily removed try reaction with ground water, soil or rock. Additionally CO is generated in relatively large quantities compared to other toxic: fumes. CO may continue to seep out of blasted material long after the odor commonly associated with detonated explosives has dissipated. It is never safe to assume as confined space in the vicinity of a blast is clear of toxic fumes. CO may be present even if the area looks Clear and many hours have passed since the last blast.

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