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Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP)

Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Suppressant: Examining the Risks (EPA, 2000)

This paper provides information on the use and effectiveness of carbon dioxide in fire protection systems and describes incidents involving inadvertent exposure of personnel to the gas. Because carbon dioxide fire extinguishing systems will likely be used in place of those based on halon in some applications, this paper attempts to provide an increased awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of carbon dioxide. EPA recognizes the environmental benefits of using carbon dioxide, but is concerned that personnel accustomed to the use of halon fire suppression systems may not be properly alerted to the special hazards of carbon dioxide. Governmental, military, civilian, and industrial sources were researched to obtain information on deaths and injuries associated with the use of carbon dioxide as a fire extinguishing agent. An examination of the risks associated with carbon dioxide extinguishing systems is also presented.

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