Evaluation of Shipboard Formation of a Neurotoxicant (Trimethylolpropane Phosphate) from Thermal Decomposition of Synthetic Aircraft Engine Lubricant,
NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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MIL-L-23699 lubricants that are composed principally of trimethylolpropane triheptanoate TMP and tricresyl phosphate TCP have been shown to form a neurotoxicant, trimethylolpropane phosphate TMPP, during pyrolysis andor combustion. Mechanistically TMPP is thought to irreversibly inhibit the GABA-mediated inhibitory response and thereby produce epileptiform clonicionic seizures with convulsions followed by death. Thermal decomposition of MIL-L-23699 lubricant produces TMPP under laboratory conditions but this product has not been detected in the work place following actual fires. It is possible that thermal decomposition of these synthetic lubricants may result in contamination of an aircraft crash site or lubricant storage space aboard ship producing a dermal hazard to shipboard personnel involved in clean-up operations after a fire. This study has examined whether TMPP is produced during an actual shipboard fire by placing the synthetic lubricant in a fire environment aboard the ex-U.S.S.Shadwell, Mobile, Alabama. Efforts were made to create optimum conditions for formation of TMPP as determined in the laboratory and to duplicate the shipboard environment of the lubricant in order to simulate what might actually result if a fire occurred. Both biological and chemical analyses were performed on the thermally decomposed lubricant to ensure detection of the neurotoxic material. Under the conditions of this study, the formation of TMPP during a shipboard fire was confirmed.
- Physical Chemistry
- Lubricants and Hydraulic Fluids
- Marine Engineering