tions should be determined for those chemicals. The subcommittee notes that a few onboard sources, such as cigarette smoking and certain cooking methods, contribute to the formation of multiple compounds considered in this report. Therefore, stricter management or elimination of those sources is likely to solve some exposure problems on board submarines.
The subcommittee did not address exposures to chemical mixtures. When empirical data that characterize mixtures found in submarine air become available, the subcommittee recommends that they be evaluated. The potential for antagonistic, additive, or synergistic interactions between contaminants in the submarine environment is an area of significant uncertainty that remains largely unexamined and needs to be studied.
Several of the chemicals that the subcommittee evaluated for this report are sensory irritants. The derivation of quantitative environmental and occupational exposure limits for sensory irritants is fraught with difficulty because measures of the ocular and respiratory tract irritation experienced by human subjects are often considered subjective. The results of controlled human exposures to many sensory irritants typically use descriptors, such as “mild” or “mild to moderate,” and the database for sensory irritation thresholds can be highly variable. Research is needed to quantify the diverse methods and end points used in sensory irritation studies, so that these data can be used in public- and occupational-health risk assessment with greater confidence.