the Navy examine event situations to determine toxicologically significant mixtures to which the crew might be exposed in acute excursions. That is, what systems could fail and what mixtures would be yielded as a result?
As in the earlier reports, several of the chemicals evaluated in this report are sensory irritants. The derivation of quantitative environmental and occupational exposure limits for sensory irritants is fraught with difficulty because measures of ocular and respiratory tract irritation experienced by human subjects are often subjective. The results of controlled human exposures to many sensory irritants typically use such descriptors as “mild” or “mild to moderate,” and the data on 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 the data can be used in public-health and occupational-health risk assessment with greater confidence.
Finally, as noted earlier, the submarine is a unique environment in which workers are potentially exposed 24 h/day over periods of weeks or months. Few experimental studies examine continuous exposure, and more studies that replicate the submarine environment need to be funded and conducted.