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    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 71.

    March 19, 2020
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    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 71:
    Bushfires and Respiratory Protection - Part 1.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 71:
    Bushfires and Respiratory Protection - Part 1.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 71:
    Bushfires and Respiratory Protection - Part 1.

    In this episode, Terry Gorman, 3M’s Lead Application Engineer for the Personal Safety Division in Australia and New Zealand joins host Mark Reggers for the first of a two-part series to discuss bushfires and respiratory protection.

    Bushfire smoke generates a gigantic volatile cocktail of hydrocarbons of various sizes, shapes and toxicity. Measuring the degree of respiratory hazard exposure from bushfire smoke is never easy as there are many factors at play during the blaze. Respiratory protection in these unpredictable conditions is critical, which, when used correctly and paired to the circumstances, can significantly reduce your exposure.

      

             

        

    Guest Bio:

    Terry Gorman (pictured left) is a Certified Occupational Hygienist who has been involved in workplace safety for nearly 30 years. He has worked for 3M Australia and New Zealand in the Personal Safety Division for 18 years.

    Terry is a current member of the Australian/New Zealand Standard Committees responsible for respiratory protection (AS/NZS 1715 & 1716) as well as the Eye/Face Protection Standards Committee (AS/NZS 1337 & 1338).

    He currently represents Standards Australia on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Committee TC94/SC15, a team of international specialists creating a set of global respiratory standards.

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    In this episode, part 1 of 2, Mark & Terry discuss the following:

     
    • What is in bushfire smoke?
    • What is PM2.5?
    • What are the potential health effects from exposure to bushfire smoke?
    • Are there groups of people who are more susceptible to these health effects?
    • Is there an exposure standard for bushfire smoke?
    • Can the hierarchy of control approach be applied to bushfire smoke exposure for workplaces, bush firefighters and the general public?
    • Is there a respirator that is suitable for all the contaminants in bushfire smoke?
    • What is a P2 mask, and why is it recommended for bushfire smoke?
    • What is an N95 filter and is that suitable for bushfire smoke? How is this different from a P2?
    • What should people be aware of if they are wearing a disposable mask?
    • Why does the Australian standard say that if you are wearing a P3 filter on a half face mask to treat it as a P2 protection factor?
    • Are there other masks or filters that would be recommended to capture some of the gases that bush firefighters would potentially be exposed to at the fire front?

    Bushfires are an ongoing concern, as summer rolls around the threats become ever-present, to what extent however we don’t know. Preparation is essential and applies to residents in the bushfire zone, firefighters and volunteers on the front line, and the general public. When fires rage across the country do you know how to protect yourself in the course of the inferno and in the aftermath, during cleanup operations? Tune in as we cover the topic of bushfires and respiratory protection to ensure you are ready and have the correct gear to protect yourself, your family and those in need around you.

     

    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.