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    Question Nitrile Gloves and Cyanide/ Extreme Heat

    Recently we were discussing how Nitrile gloves when heated to a certian temperature essentially give off cyanide. I personally carry a pair or 2 on a pouch on my suspenders. Others carry some in their pockets of their regular pants or have a pouch for them on their belts. Here are the questions.
    1. At what temperature will the nitrile patient care gloves give off poisonous gasses if we happen to have them on us while inside a fire?

    2. If it is a high temperature to melt the gloves through my fire gear don't I have bigger problems in that environment than the cyanide? As in I shouldn't be in that high heat environment anyway? Flashover temps?

    3. Does anyone else carry nitrile patient care gloves on them in their gear?

    I know some people will say why not just get a pair when needed from the ambulance or the EMS equipment bag? Valid questions, but lets just say I like keeping a pair on me. Pockets, Glove pouch on my belt as mentioned above. Any and all info or opinions will be appreciated. Thank You.

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    I am looking for more clear answer as to the temperature range that it will give off gasses at incase it is in a range where we normally can operate at. But yeah. Thats what I thought. If it is that hot, I have bigger problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBFD111 View Post
    I am looking for more clear answer as to the temperature range that it will give off gasses at incase it is in a range where we normally can operate at. But yeah. Thats what I thought. If it is that hot, I have bigger problems.
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it's a non-issue.

    .
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    I just wish that people would worry about how to fight a fire in a single family dwelling as much as they do about these inane questions that come up on here.

    A "nitrile" actually has cyanide as a component. But nitrile gloves are not made out of nitriles. They are made from a polymer from nitriles and synthetic rubber. The heat that you would have to expose the gloves to would have to be sufficient to break down the polymer and then break down the nitrile compound.

    You have a better chance of being hit by lightning than of the chemical and physical decomposition of a pair of gloves in your turnout pants pocket.

    Now, if you have a fire involving storage of these gloves, that would be a potentially different story.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    LOL!! I thought it might go this way. My thoughts exactely, but guys I work with keep beating this horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBFD111 View Post
    LOL!! I thought it might go this way. My thoughts exactely, but guys I work with keep beating this horse.
    Tell them to worry about stretching an 1 3/4" up an interior staircase the proper way and not worry about zebras.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Tell them to worry about stretching an 1 3/4" up an interior staircase the proper way and not worry about zebras.
    When they are done with that.. they can move a deuce and a half the same way.
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    Nitrile itself is a sort of polymer of cyanide (R-C=-N, where =- is a triple bond). From this, thermal decomposition will produce cyanide, and plenty of it. However, the working temperature of nitrile is ~100C; at that point, it'll soften and melt- depending upon the polymer, and if it's a copolymer and other stuff. Thermal decomposition is probably a couple of hundred degrees higher than that.

    Fortunately (?) homes are already loaded with nitrogenous compounds that will cheerfully produce plenty of cyanide (among other compounds that are far worse). In the grand scheme of things, cyanide isn't really as bad as it's made out to be; the LD50 and LC50 are high enough that you probably have other things to worry about. Perhaps I'm just jaded as a chemist- I've worked with worse stuff (in the lab and in the field) than hydrogen cyanide.

    Lastly, can anyone- anywhere- relate an incident where someone suffered cyanide poisoning from nitrile gloves, other than perhaps a fire in a warehouse full of the stuff? With ~300,000 career firefighters and 2-3 times that many volunteers, where's the first case?

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    I don't know about you, but I wear this thing on my face inside of a fire that pipes clean air from a bottle right to my face. So I don't care wear these gloves are on my goods, a whole box could be melting.

    Maybe if you use your special emergency pocket hose and stick it in your EMS glove pocket you'll run into problems, but besides that don't worry.

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    I think this more than answers my question. Thanks fellas. Much appreciated! And Georgewendt....ahh yeah....we get it. Practicing that stuff is our coffee and donuts around here. We do that everyday as everyone should. This was just a random question that became a side issue. Believe me we worry about much bigger things than nitrile gloves.

    Thanks again for all the info everyone!! Stay safe out ther!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBFD111 View Post
    Recently we were discussing how Nitrile gloves when heated to a certian temperature essentially give off cyanide. I personally carry a pair or 2 on a pouch on my suspenders.
    I reckon that unless you breathe through your nipples, you'll probably be okay.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I don't know about you, but I wear this thing on my face inside of a fire that pipes clean air from a bottle right to my face. So I don't care wear these gloves are on my goods, a whole box could be melting.

    But what if the person who filled your bottle was wearing nitrile gloves?
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    But what if the person who filled your bottle was wearing nitrile gloves?


    That would depend totally on the Version of the NFPA Standard that was in effect at the time........


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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    That would depend totally on the Version of the NFPA Standard that was in effect at the time........


    May I help the next in line Please?........
    But you could fix it when you install the winter air, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    That would depend totally on the Version of the NFPA Standard that was in effect at the time........


    May I help the next in line Please?........
    Man, those guys at the NFPA are busy, what don't they have a standard for?

    I'm tired of the 2-ply in our bathrooms, is there a standard for 4-ply I can give to my chief?
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    How hot do these gloves need to get before they start to melt?
    Also do they give off any other chemicals when they get hot?
    Im just wondering about going into a fire and not worrying about them, then going to an MVA later and using them on a patient.
    I keep mine in a small metal container (altoids FTW!) in the side pocket of my pants. So they would be exposed to heat in a building, i might need to consider moving them i guess before i end up with a tray full of goop come time to use them!

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    Good Point Zachman, wonder how many thought about that before they put their two cents in? I could see that situation happening and happening often, but I dont have an answer for you. I could read the post, research it for about three hours and then respond with an answer and act like I know what I am talking about but I will not. Good luck on getting an answer to your scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zackman1801 View Post
    How hot do these gloves need to get before they start to melt?
    Also do they give off any other chemicals when they get hot?
    Im just wondering about going into a fire and not worrying about them, then going to an MVA later and using them on a patient.
    I keep mine in a small metal container (altoids FTW!) in the side pocket of my pants. So they would be exposed to heat in a building, i might need to consider moving them i guess before i end up with a tray full of goop come time to use them!
    I don't know, I keep a lot of stuff in my pockets and haven't really seen much of an impact on any of it. I have never kept gloves in my gear though, we have boxes of gloves on ever truck.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    I've yet to notice any difference to gloves stored in my turnout pockets.

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    Really? This is a concern?

    Ok....let me help.


    The answer is NO. If your gloves melt in your pocket you will have much bigger problems like getting dead because you are in a flashover. Let's just say they would be heated up enough to give off gases...it would be such a small amount it wouldn't be a big deal..... and plus you would be wearing an SCBA so it wouldn't be an issue anyway.

    I would strongly suggest to you to and your guys to worry about something else like tactics and strategies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackman1801 View Post
    How hot do these gloves need to get before they start to melt?
    Also do they give off any other chemicals when they get hot?
    Im just wondering about going into a fire and not worrying about them, then going to an MVA later and using them on a patient.
    I keep mine in a small metal container (altoids FTW!) in the side pocket of my pants. So they would be exposed to heat in a building, i might need to consider moving them i guess before i end up with a tray full of goop come time to use them!
    This is anpther example of worrying about stuff you don't have to worry about.

    The exact temp that any deliterious effects on your gloves would occur would be dependent upon the actual chemical make up of the glove, which would vary from manuf. to manuf. and probably from batch to batch.

    Suffice it to say, if the insides of your turnout pockets got hot enough to cause chemical breakdown of your gloves, you would be asking this question from the burn unit.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Let me add one more thing.

    I have investigated way over 100 fire deaths. In almost every one, cyanide was present in the blood in post mortem tox. There are LOTS of things that burn in a normal house fire that give off cyanide. The least of which is your nitrile gloves. That's why you keep the muzzle on, even in overhaul.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Let me add one more thing.

    I have investigated way over 100 fire deaths. In almost every one, cyanide was present in the blood in post mortem tox. There are LOTS of things that burn in a normal house fire that give off cyanide. The least of which is your nitrile gloves. That's why you keep the muzzle on, even in overhaul.
    Exactimundo!
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    In regards to all the "concentrate on something more important like tactics and strategy" comments. WE DO!! This is just a small little coffee table side, SIDE question that came up. SHEESH!!!

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