In vitro biological toxicity assessments for fire combustion products

Fatma Lestari, A. J. Hayes, A. R. Green

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: A large range of polymers are used in building and mass transport interiors which release toxic products during combustion. In vitro biological toxicity assessment for fire combustion products offers a new method for the application of in vitro methods into a fire toxicity fields. This chapter describes the biological toxicity assessment for fire combustion products using the in vitro method. Several in vitro techniques are described for human cell exposure to fire effluents including the indirect (impinger) and direct (air/liquid interface using Harvard Navicyte chamber) exposure using passive and dynamic exposure method. A laboratory-scale vertical tube furnace arrangement is described for the generation of combustion products. A basic cytotoxicity mechanism describes the basic mechanism of substances acting at the cellular level which provides the fundamental basis for cell injury or cell death. A range of cytotoxicity assays which measure different toxic effects are described using an in vitro cytotoxicity assay. The end points to be measured in a toxicity assay are also described. These can be used to acquire data on thermal decomposition products and risk to humans. However, the application of in vitro toxicity testing has encountered a number of difficulties; several advantages and weaknesses of this method are also discussed. The in vitro biological toxicity assessment for fire combustion products area has become an emerging field which is challenging and promising. The need to evaluate and select materials which have fire resistant characteristics and low toxicity is of great importance. The toxicity information is an important part of fire hazard risk identification, fire prevention and protection as well as for public safety.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFire Toxicity
PublisherWoodhead Publishing Limited
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781845695026
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2010


  • Air/liquid interface
  • Combustion products; human cell lines
  • Cytotoxicity of fire smoke
  • In vitro biological toxicity
  • In vitro cytotoxicity assay
  • In vitro exposure system
  • In vitro toxicology
  • Thermal degradation of polymers
  • Vertical tube furnace


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