Acute upper respiratory symptoms resulting from exposure to zinc chloride aerosol

Marc B Schenker, Frank E. Speizer, James O. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Exposure to zinc chloride aerosol as a result of detonation of a smoke bomb in an airport disaster drill resulted in participants experiencing upper respiratory tract symptoms which corresponded in frequency of occurrence and intensity with proximity to the site and duration of exposure. Fortunately the exposure was not intense and all symptoms appeared to be transient and receded over several days without any apparent permanent disability. Forced expiratory maneuvers carried out on a substantial fraction of the participants revealed no evidence of lower-airway abnormalities. These findings are consistent with what is known about the size, solubility, and hygroscopic nature of the aerosol. Much of the literature on this subject relates to accidental exposures in enclosed spaces in which exposure is far more intense than occurs in the open air. Alternative methods for generating smoke should be considered in the future when there is potential for intense human exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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