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Toxicological information

Epidemiological data

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Administrative data

Endpoint:
epidemiological data
Type of information:
other:
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
Reliability:
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Meets generally accepted scientific standards and is described in sufficient detail.

Data source

Referenceopen allclose all

Reference Type:
publication
Title:
Accidental Bromine Exposure in an Urban Population: An Acute Epidemiological Assessment
Author:
Morabia A, C Selleger, P Conne et al
Year:
1988
Bibliographic source:
Int J Epidemiol 17(1):148-152, 1988
Reference Type:
publication
Title:
Nuage de brome a Geneve
Author:
Morabia A, Selleger C, Conne P, Landry JC, Fabre J.
Year:
1986
Bibliographic source:
Schweiz Med Wochenschr 116 (1) 11-18

Materials and methods

Test material

Reference
Name:
Unnamed
Type:
Constituent

Method

Type of population:
general
Ethical approval:
not applicable
Exposure assessment:
estimated

Results and discussion

Results:
EXPOSURE
- Number of measurements:
- Average concentrations: 0.2 to 0.5 ppm
- Arithmetic mean:
- Geometric mean:
- Median:
- 95-Percentile:
- Standard deviation:
- Date(s) of measurement(s):
- Other:


FINDINGS: 91 patients showed mild clinical symptoms and course from accidental exposure to a bromine cloud released from a Geneva, Switzerland industrial plant. Estimated bromine concentrations were 0.2 to 0.5 ppm. Common symptoms observed were acute onset of conjunctivitis, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, coughs, and headaches. Symptoms persisted in 20 to 30% of the cases for up to 3 days and in certain cases for up to one month.


INCIDENCE / CASES
- Incidence/ Number of cases for each disease / parameter under consideration: 91 patients
- Other:


STATISTICAL RESULTS
- SMR (Standard mortality ratio):
- RR (Relative risk):
- OR (Odds ratio):
- Other:


OTHER OBSERVATIONS:

Any other information on results incl. tables

On the morning of November 8, 1984, an accident at a chemical plant in Geneva, Switzerland, resulted in the release of 550 kg of liquid bromine. The gaseous bromine was released via the ventilation system and formed a dense brown cloud that drifted into the neighborhood. The cloud remained low to the ground and drifted through the center of town before dissipating at Lake Geneva. The time from release of liquid bromine to disappearance of the cloud was about 5 hours. An ozone analyzer at the Ecotoxicological Center of the Canton of Geneva detected an oxidizing substance between 10 and 12 o'clock that morning. The Centre measured bromine concentrations at an undefined time using Draeger tubes equipped with chlorine reactive tubes. Measurements to determine the outside limits of the potentially contaminated zone showed air concentrations of 0.2 to 0.5 ppm. Ninety one patients were admitted to various departments of the University Hospital at Geneva. Patients reported signs and symptoms of eye irriation (90%), upper airways irritation (68%), cough (47%), expectoration (34%) and headache (46%). A worker from the plant was treated for severe acute bronchitis; he was discharged the following day after hydrocortisone treatment. The remainder of the patients had moderate, self-limiting symptoms. A followup one month later of 62 of the patients indicated no serious late complications.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Executive summary:

An accidental release of 550 kg liquid bromine from a Geneva, Switzerland industrial plant produced a bromine cloud with bromine concentrations of 0.2 to 0.5 ppm. Ninety-one patients showed a mild clinical course. Common symptoms observed were the acute onset of conjunctivitis, irritation of the upper respiratory tract, coughs, and headaches. Symptoms persisted in 20 to 30% of the cases for up to 3 days and in one case for up to 1 month.