Home Podcasts THMG076 – TRACEM, Part I

THMG076 – TRACEM, Part I


In this episode, Bob and Mike begin to explore TRACEM and its relationship to the hazards we encounter as hazmat techs.

Complete Show Notes

3:20 Background on TRACEM

  • Protocol for dealing with hazardous materials that can hurt you
  • We’re always focused on scene safety, which helps you make sure your PPE matches the hazard

4:35 T is for Thermal

  • Heat
    • Radiant
    • Conductive
    • Convection
    • Affects PPE selection – must have an air barrier thermal layer
  • Cold
    • Cryogenics
    • Auto-refrigeration
    • Rapid release of a pressurized vessel
    • Affects PPE selection – we need to wear thick, pressurized gloves

8:05 R is for Radiological

  • Types of radioactive waves
    • Alpha
    • Beta
    • Gamma
    • Neutron
    • X-ray
  • Time, distance, shielding
  • Understanding the limits of radiation exposure
    • 25 dose voluntary limit
    • At 100 rem, we see minor blood changes that reverse in a few weeks – possibly some weakness and fatigue
    • At 200-400 rem, 70-90% of people will vomit – others will see a rise in core body temperature
      • Hospitalization is recommended at this point
      • Symptoms last from weeks to months
      • We start to see a rise in fatalities as we approach the 400 rem area – chances of lethality are low at the 200 rem area
    • At 400-600 rem, everyone will throw up within 1 hour; diarrhea starts within 3-8 hours
      • 50% of people will get headaches within 24 hours
      • 80-100% will get a fever
      • Some people lose hair
      • We need a specialized hospital at this point
      • Lethality at this point is 20-70%
      • If exposure lasts 4-8 weeks, you’ll die
      • If you do survive, recovery can take months to years
    • 600-800 rem
      • Vomiting in 30 minutes and diarrhea in 1-3 yours – everyone is affected
      • Change in consciousness levels also occurs
      • Fever within an hour
      • Everyone loses hair
      • 600 is our LD 50 – this will happen within 1-2 weeks
      • Recovery is long, and that’s only with intense care – there will be lifelong effects
    • Above 800 REM
      • Vomiting within 10 minutes and major diarrhea
      • Everyone has headaches
      • Loss of consciousness from seconds to minutes
      • high fever within an hour
      • Palliative treatment required for many – it’s rare to receive aggressive support care that actually helps
      • Death occurs within 1-2 seeks

15:40 A is for Asphyxiation

  • Simple asphyxiates
    • These asphyxiates displace oxygen and make it more difficult to breathe – lack of O2 in the environment
    • Types of simple asphyxiates include:
      • CO2 – this usually hangs out in low areas, but if it reaches our nose and mouth, it becomes an asphyxiate
      • Nitrogen
      • Biological – organisms like fungi eat up all the oxygen in the air
      • Chemical – certain chemicals can also eat up air
  • Chemical asphyxiates
    • Oxygen is available, but for some reason, our bodies can’t use it
      • Types of chemical asphyxiates include:
      • Hydrogen cyanide – stopped on the cellular level
      • CO – stopped on the blood level

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