What is the pathophysiology of smoke inhalation associated with the military or industry?

Updated: Oct 15, 2021
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Smokes and obscurants long have been used by the military as a means of hiding troops, equipment, and certain areas from view of the opposing forces and from engagement by weapons with electro-optical control systems. Although smokes typically are not used as direct chemical agents, they may produce toxic injury to skin, eyes, and all parts of the respiratory tract. [8] Smokes also are produced in industry by explosion, by mechanical generation, or as a by-product of a chemical interaction.

Smokes associated with the military, industry, or both, include the following:

  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx)

  • Zinc oxide (HC)

  • Red phosphorus (RP)

  • Sulfur trioxide (FS)

  • Titanium tetrachloride (FM)

  • Oil fog (eg, SGF2)

  • Teflon particles


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