Isocyanates and amines from fires - a screening over commom materials found in buildings

Per Blomqvist, Tommy Hertzberg, M. Dalene, G. Skarping

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30 Citations (SciVal)


Isocyanates, aminoisocyanates and amines were quantified from the combustion of 24 different materials or products typically found in buildings. Small-scale combustion experiments were conducted in the cone calorimeter, where generally well-ventilated combustion conditions are attained. Measurements were further made in two different full-scale experiments.
Isocyanates and amino-compounds were sampled using an impinger-filter sampling system with a reagent solution of di-n-butylamine in toluene. Filter and impinger solution were analysed separately using LC-MS technique. Further the particulate distribution in the smoke gases was determined by impactor technique, and selected gaseous compounds quantified by FTIR.
It was found in the small-scale that isocyanates were produced from the majority of the materials tested. The highest concentration was found for glass wool insulation, and further high concentrations were found for PUR products, particleboard, nitrile rubber and melamine. Lower concentrations were found for wood and cable-products. Amino-isocyanates and amines were generally found from PUR products only.
The distribution of isocyanates between the particulate- and fluid phases varied for the different materials and a tendency to enrichment of particles was seen for some of the materials. Further, when comparing the potential health hazard between isocyanates and other major fire gases (based on NIOSH IDLH-values) it was found that isocyanates in several cases represented the greatest hazard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-294
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Building Technologies
  • Other Civil Engineering


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