Presentation on theme: "FOG & HAZE Health & Safety Considerations Janet Sellery, CRSP"— Presentation transcript:
1 FOG & HAZE Health & Safety Considerations Janet Sellery, CRSP
2 Introduction Directors and designers love to use fog and haze effects People exposed to fog and haze have experienced health effects
3 Session Outline Studies on health effects Levels of Exposure Fog and haze H & S issuesDue diligenceRisk assessment and controlsEducation and communicationAccommodationResources
4 Supplier ad:“Theatrical fog machines create fog by vaporizing a special, safe and non-toxic water-based fluid”
5 Is it safe?“Safe” - adjective 1 protected from danger or risk. 2 not causing or leading to harm or injury.Source: Compact Oxford English Dictionary
6 Is It Non-Toxic? “Non-toxic” is not meaningful and can be misleading. No definition or standard is used for judging a consumer product or its ingredientsNo assurance that such a claim has been independently verified.A product that does not meet the definition of “toxic” according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (US) should not necessarily be considered non-toxicSource:
7 Background Concerns about fog products go back to the late 1980s Monona Rossol, Arts Crafts & Theatre Safety, published “Theatre Fogs and Smokes: A Report on their Hazards” in 1990American Equity reported on a study conducted by NIOSH in 1991ESTA has become actively involved through their Fog Working Group, technical standards and fog testing program
8 Study #1 – Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics 2000 – Mount Sinai School of Medicine and ENVIRON, sponsored by American Equity AssociationStudy conducted in 1997 – 1999439 adult performers16 Broadway musicals
9 Study #1 – Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics Study included:Epidemiologic assessment – collection of data from Actors regarding symptoms they reported experiencing and background info (questionnaires, daily checklists, medical
10 Study #2 – Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics Study included:Exposure assessment – potential exposures were estimated by collecting:Personal breathing zone samplesGeneral air samplesVarious locations in the theatresBoth live performance and rehearsal settingsResults were combined in developing conclusions re. exposures and health effects
11 Study #1 – Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics Findings:No evidence of serious health effects was found to be associated with exposure to any of the theatrical effects evaluated in this studyPeak exposures following a release of glycol smoke are associated with increased reporting of respiratory, throat, and nasal symptoms
12 Study #1 – Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics Findings:Elevated exposures to mineral oil haze are associated with increased reporting of throat symptoms.Other factors in increased symptom reporting – perceived levels of stress (at work and away from work), performance schedule, and the physical demand of the role(s)
13 Study #1– Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics FindingsObserved association between increased signs and symptoms of respiratory irritant effects and exposure to elevated levels of glycols and mineral oilRecommendations for actors in musicalsGlycols – not to exceed 40 mg/m³Mineral Oil – not to exceed 25 mg/m³ (Time weighted average below 5 mg/m³)
14 Study #1– Health Effects Evaluation of Theatrical Smoke, Haze and Pyrotechnics Recommendations for actors in musicalsAs long s peak exposures are avoided, health, vocal abilities and careers of Actors should not be harmed.
15 Study #2 - Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry 2003 UBC School of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, requested by SHAPEStudy included:Survey of special effects techniciansAnalysis of chemicals usedSimple monitoring method for se in the industryLevels of exposureHealth effects
16 Study #2 - Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry FindingsFog aerosols were small enough to enter the smallest airways and air sacs of the lungsMineral oil exposure exceeded the proposed ACGIH TLVExposure was higher for employeesworking close to the fog machine,spending more time in the visible fogon productions with more fog machines in use, regardless of the type of production or fog chemicals being used
17 Study #2 - Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry Health EffectsRespiratory health of 101 persons was compared to a control group from BC FerriesEntertainment industry employees had:Lower than average lung function test resultsMore chronic respiratory symptoms and current asthma symptoms
18 Study #2 - Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry FindingsAcute changes on testing day:Increased nose, throat and voice symptomsGlycol fogs – more common dry cough , dry throat, headache, dizziness, tirednessMineral oil fogs – measureable drop in lung function (over approx 4 hours)
19 Study #2 - Atmospheric Effects in the Entertainment Industry Recommendations:Exposure control plans for mineral oilExposure minimization plans for glycol fluidsExposure reduction strategies (See the ActSafe Bulletin)
20 “Anything other than clean ,moist air can hurt your vocal cords” Brent Rossington, SHAPE
21 Levels of ExposureRegulation 833 Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical AgentsANSI E – Theatrical Fog Made With Aqueous Solutions of Di- and Trihydric SolutionsAmerican Equity Association - Theatrical Smoke, Fog, and Haze Testing Time and Distance Guidelines (2007)
23 ParticulatesWhenever you introduce particulates, some people may experience irritation, especially those with respiratory problemsMinor irritation, which might go unnoticed by most people, may affect vocal performance and may leave performers more susceptible to colds and infections
24 DrynessWhen you use glycol products and dry ice, the air will become drier and some people may experience sore throatsPeople who wear contact lenses may experience dry eyes
25 HumidityWhenever you use low lying fog (ex. Dry ice carried by CO2), humidity will increase and there is potential for slippery floors
26 Allergies Almost any substance may be capable of causing an allergy While most people will not develop allergies, there is no reliable way to predict who will be affected
27 AsphyxiationWhen oxygen is displaced (dry ice), there is potential for asphyxiation
28 Toxic ByproductsIncompatible fluids and machines, or machines with malfunctioning temperature controls may allow combustion.Toxic byproducts may be created.
29 San Francisco OperaAs of 2002, 23 out of 44 chorus members reportedly suffered respiratory problems, throat irritation and other ailments that they blame on theatrical fogAt least one singer filed a workers compensation claims and complained to OSHA; another filed a lawsuit,
30 San Francisco OperaThe San Francisco Opera says it dropped glycol fog more than a year ago because of Pamela Dale's complaints and because stage designers want different effects.They have instead used mineral oil, liquid nitrogen or dry ice, or combinations of those.Dale says the mineral oil fog also irritates her throat.Performers are allowed to opt out of any opera that uses fog but still be paid
31 San Francisco OperaSome audience members have also claimed to have had reactions"When somebody sees a smoke or fog like this, it's a psychological problem," says Jim Kehrer, head of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Texas. "If you see some sort of fog or smoke rolling at you, and you already have a breathing problem, it's going to get worse."
32 San Francisco OperaDale says that opera houses should be more creative with lighting and rely more on the audience's imagination instead of fog.But "they'll stop using it when someone like Luciano Pavarotti gets a reaction to stage fog," says lawyer Steven Weiss, whose client Will Roy, an opera singer, received an undisclosed settlement from the Cleveland Opera after claiming he suffered an allergic reaction in 1990.Source: Kelly Yamanouchi, AP Writer, Backstage, Jan. 2001
33 “Beauty and the Beast”, Broadway In 1995, nearly a third of the 25 members of the pit orchestra …complained of asthma-like effects, according to Bill Moriarity, president of American Federation of Musicians Local 802.Source: Kelly Yamanouchi, AP Writer, Backstage, Jan. 2001
34 Sometimes fog is a bad idea… Insect fogger using an unknown product, sitting in a foil roasting pan because it leaked so badlyFog blasted up from a trap into the face of an actor who developed persistent bronchitisFog that filled a quick change area causing asthma in a wardrobe attendant, who had to wear a respirator (WSIB claim)
35 “We were designed to breathe air” Monona RossolArts, Crafts and Theater Safety
36 So how do we work with fog? There are no safe ways to work with fogThere are safer ways to work with fogNo one can promise that fog will not have health effects for some people.
37 Due DiligenceAn important legal and cultural component of a H & S management systemThe level of:CarePrudenceDeterminationActivitythat a person would reasonably be expected to exercise under a situation’s particular circumstances
38 Due DiligenceUnder sections 25 (2) (h) and 27 (2) (c) of the OHSA, employers and supervisors must “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker”.This is known as the general duty or due diligence clause.
39 Due Diligence Seems subjective May be measured using the reasonable person test:What dozen peers would consider reasonable under a similar set of circumstancesThe result is a balanced, wise and defendable judgment
40 Due Diligence Safer ways to work with fog require: Risk assessment and controlEducation and communicationAccommodation for people who have problems with fog
41 Risk Assessment and Control The foundation of OSH – a powerful tool for dealing with unique issuesDepending on the jurisdiction, it is either explicit or impliedIn some jurisdictions (including Alberta), employers must perform and formally document regular hazard assessments at their worksites
42 Identifying and Assessing Hazards Hazard – any condition or circumstance that has the potential to cause injury or illness
43 Eliminating and Controlling Hazards Whenever possible, hazards should be eliminatedIf this is not possible, they must be controlledControl means reducing the hazard to levels that present a minimal risk to worker healthControls, in order of preference, include:Engineering controlsAdministrative controlsPersonal protective equipment (PPE)
44 Engineering Controls First and preferred choice They physically control hazardsExample:Substitution of a less toxic product
45 Administrative Controls Second choiceExamples:Safe work practice and proceduresWorker trainingScheduling and supervisionPurchasing decisionsPreventative maintenance programsSignage
46 Personal Protective Equipment Last resort of hazard controlShould be used only after engineering and administrative controls have been shown to be impractical, ineffective or insufficientUsed to lessen the potential harmful effects of exposure to a known hazardExamples:Respirators
47 Control of HazardsEach workplace must find controls that are specific to that workplaceWorkers must be protected from harmful exposures to hazardous substancesFor best results, choose the most effective place to apply controls:At the source (first choice)Along the pathAt the worker (last choice)
48 Risk Assessment Who will be exposed? Actors, musicians Stage management, crew, wardrobe attendantsPatronsChildren, seniors *People with health issues ** These populations have not been studied.
49 Risk AssessmentReview the Risk Assessment chart for Fog and Haze Effects
51 EquipmentSelect appropriate equipment and learn how to use it to create the effects you wantRead and follow manufacturer/supplier instructionsContact the manufacturer/supplier for additional info
52 Fog Products Workers using fog should have WHMIS Every product should have a complete and accurate MSDS – READ IT!Do not use a product if ingredients are not listed or if it is “home made” with no MSDSNOTE: The MSDS may not reflect the intended use of the product – blowing it into the air and inhaling it
53 Fog ProductsPrior to the Cue to Cue rehearsal, each Technical Director is responsible for posting the MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets) for fog and smoke products to be used for each production for the acting company and production staff.Copies shall also be given to the Stage Manager
54 AccommodationIf there is a change in the atmospheric conditions of the theatre (ventilation, heat, air conditioning and humidity) during the run, the Stage Manager may request changes to the levels or durations of effects in order to maintain the look of the production.
55 AccommodationIf a member of the acting company or production staff experiences adverse health effects due to fog or smoke, they must report their concerns to the Stage Manager or Technical Director.The Stage Manager, in consultation with the Technical Director, may request changes to the levels or durations of effects for up to two performances.
56 AccommodationBeyond two performances, changes to fog and smoke may only be made with the approval of the Director of Production and the Producer.Respirators equipped with appropriate filter cartridges should be used where circumstances warrant.
57 Resources Ontario Ministry of Labour ActSafe - formerly SHAPE (BC) Actors Equity Association (US)ESTA (US)Australian Entertainment Industry Association
58 Next Steps…Conduct testing to assess real levels of exposure – ESTA Fog Testing ProgramInvestigate safer options such as potable water under high pressure (used in “O”)Develop healthy and safe practices to ensure long, productive careers.Be curious and ask questions.
59 Opera America Newsline, Jan. 1999 “Smoke makes the air a palpable presence. You can see the light moving…it’s a way of making the beams register… Management is beginning to understand that there may be a problem, and consider that they may have a moral responsibility not to endanger singers and crew.” (John Conklin, designer and director of productions at Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera)
60 Opera America Newsline, Jan. 1999 Until any conclusive scientific findings become available, companies must consider a variety of variables, including an honest look at their own theatre ventilation systems and sensitivities of cast and crew.Current methods for creating a palpable atmosphere onstage may prove harmless, but until then, it’s best to proceed with informed caution.