On Fri, 16 May 2014 08:05:39 -0700, RobertMacy wrote:
We noted that this flight safety PDF, which was all about
protecting your airways in a cabin fire, explicitly said
that the dry heat of a cabin fire isn't a major concern
when it comes to protecting your breathing airways:
As already noted, they said, verbatim:
"the human body’s upper airway naturally provides significant
protection to the lower airway and lungs against extreme
heat from hot, dry air."
Absolutely none of the air-safety PDFs yet mentioned *anything*
about the wet cloth having anything to do with cooling hot
air, so, we can safely assume the only *safety* purpose of
the wet cloth is to trap some of the hydrogen cyanide gas.
On Friday, May 16, 2014 1:34:21 PM UTC-4, Ann Marie Brest wrote:
Just because some basic guides on what to do in a fire, don't specifically
say something one way or the other, you can't "safely assume" anything.
Yet you keep doing it.
You've assumed that particle inhalation from fires is
just an inconvenience and not a contributor to injury
or death. Even you own reference, from above,
which you cite above, says otherwise. On page 29 at the bottom
right they say that soot and particle inhalation is one of the
primary sources of inhalation injury. .
On Fri, 16 May 2014 08:05:39 -0700, RobertMacy wrote:
I used to think that jumping up into the air when an elevator
crashes to the ground, would stop me from crashing along with
it. It's not supported by the facts.
Neither is the theory that the wet cloth is there to protect
us from the heat of the air during a cabin fire supported by
*any* of the flight-safety references we have so far been able
Sounds good. I'd believe it myself, if I was just guessing.
But, there's *nothing* in those flight-safety PDFs that says
that the wet cloth protects against heat in a cabin fire.
Now that's not to say that a cabin fire isn't *hot*.
For example, this previously listed PDF shows the temperatures
that can be reached in the cabin during a fuel-fed fire are
"In an aircraft accident that involves a fuel-fed fire, cabin air
temperatures could be expected to reach 662 degrees F (350 degrees C)
and higher. During inhalation, the air temperature might be
reduced to between 360 degrees F and 302 degrees F
(182 degrees C and 150 degrees C [respectively]) by the time
the air reached the larynx"
That article mentions that the wet cloth might filter out
smoke particles (which don't seem to be an immediate danger),
but it doesn't even hint at that wet cloth cooling down the
So, unless someone comes up with a good reference, I think we
can safely say that the *assumption* that the wet cloth is
there to cool down the air breathed in a cabin fire is a false
assumption (however good it seems to "sound" to most of us).
It's frequently reported that people die of heartbreak also.
And that Vikings wore horns on their helmets.
And that Moses parted the water of the Red Sea.
Or that George Washington had wooden teeth.
Or that Benjamin Franklin publicly proposed the wild turkey be
used (instead of the bald eagle) as the symbol of the US.
Or that Napoleon Bonaparte was shorter than the average
Frenchman of his time.
Lots of things are "frequently reported" and just as frequently
untrue. That's why I had asked for "scientific" answers.
Anyone can guess wrong.
On Fri, 16 May 2014 05:46:19 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:
Nothing I found, so far, says that the particles are life
The HCN gas can kill you in a couple of minutes, for example.
There was one reference which did say the wet cloth trapped particulate
So, we can safetly assume that a wet cloth does trap particles,
but, nobody has reported any real evidence that "smoke inhalation"
(presumably that means particulate inhalation) is either immediately
dangerous, or the *reason* for the wet cloth.
Based on the evidence repoted to date, the reason for the wet rag
seems to be to trap water soluble gases, of which HCN is the most
dangerous in a cabin fire (according to all the references).
On Friday, May 16, 2014 1:54:50 PM UTC-4, Ann Marie Brest wrote:
Just because they don't spell it out for you,
doesn't mean that it isn't. There is this,
The killing fumes
Most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation. Often s
moke incapacitates so quickly that people are overcome and can't make it to
an otherwise accessible exit. The synthetic materials commonplace in today
's homes produce especially dangerous substances. As a fire grows inside a
building, it will often consume most of the available oxygen, slowing the b
urning process. This "incomplete combustion" results in toxic gases.
Smoke is made of components that can each be lethal in its own way:
particles: Unburned, partially burned, and completely burned substances can
be so small they penetrate the respiratory system's protective filters, an
d lodge in the lungs. Some are actively toxic; others are irritating to the
eyes and digestive system.
vapors: Foglike droplets of liquid can poison if inhaled or absorbed throug
h the skin.
toxic gases: The most common, carbon monoxide (CO), can be deadly, even in
small quantities, as it replaced oxygen in the bloodstream. Hydrogen cyanid
e results from the burning of plastics, such as PVC pipe, and interferes wi
th cellular respiration. Phosgene is formed when household products, such a
s vinyl materials, are burned. At low levels, phosgene can cause itchy eyes
and a sore throat; at higher levels it can cause pulmonary edema and death
You just continue to amaze. Now "smoke inhalation"
can be presumed to mean "particulate inhalation".
I think the real reason was to get you something to worry about
that's of little consequence in the everyday world.
On Friday, May 16, 2014 1:56:07 PM UTC-4, Ann Marie Brest wrote:
That you don't know what you're talking about
when you conclude that because a brief FAA article doesn't
specifically say that breathing in soot/particulate matter is
harmful, that breathing it in is then just an inconvenience and
it can't contribute to killing you?
On Fri, 16 May 2014 10:48:00 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:
You appear to have completely misread my actions, so I must
not have been clear enough in the purpose of this thread.
The question is one of survivability science.
It's about how a wet cloth helps someone *survive* during
the time it takes to get out of an airplane during a cabin
I started with zero assumptions.
The only assumptions "I" have made during this thread are
those that are stated in the aforementioned flight safety
Other people made a whole bunch of assumptions, some of
which are supported in the references, but some are not
supported in *any* of the references.
If someone makes a supposition that is actually supported
by a reasonable reference that they provide, I'd be *glad*
to listen to their assumption and to read their reference!
That's the whole reason for asking the question in the
On Friday, May 16, 2014 2:05:52 PM UTC-4, Ann Marie Brest wrote:
No, I didn't misread anything. IDK what you're real purpose is,
only the question you asked, and then the wild assumptions, I saw
you make which you seem to think is sound science.
And all this time I thought it was about string theory.
See, this is where you're going wrong. Assumptions are not
what is stated in references.
[uh-suhmp-shuhn] Show IPA
something taken for granted; a supposition: a correct assumption. Synonyms:
presupposition; hypothesis, conjecture, guess, postulate, theory.
the act of taking for granted or supposing. Synonyms: presumption; presuppo
The assumption I'm talking about is the one you made:
"What's interesting is that the entire article doesn't discuss any dangers
of breathing smoke particulates, so, why it bothers to mention a dry cloth
is perplexing since we can safely assume that filtering out particulates is
merely a convenience, and not a safety issue."
You took what is essentially "what to do in an aircraft fire for
dummies", and made the bizarre leap that because they don't specifically
talk about the dangers of breathing smoke particles in a fire, that
means that avoiding breathing those particles is merely a convenience.
That does not compute.
Your own reference, Aviation Safety World, clearly says otherwise. Page 29
, bottom right hand corner, they say that one of the primary causes of smo
ke inhalation injury in an aircraft fire is soot and dust.
So does the NFPA article on fires and smoke and the Fire Engineering
link I provided.
In ahort, just because the combustion gases and heat from the air
you breath from a fire typically are more serious than soot/particulate
matter, that doesn't mean that breathing particulate matter is just
an inconvenience. It's damaging and can contribute to killing you too.
The medical examiner only puts "smoke inhalation"
or similar on a death certificate. That doesn't mean that it was just
the heat or the gases that killed in all cases. Unless you think that
having some of that with your lungs also full of irritating particulates of
all kinds of possible toxic origin added in doesn't make your chances of
This article lumps all the toxic gases and particulates plus
the irritant gases into a single word "smoke", but it also
lists at what temperature some of these synthetics melt at:
Nylon melts at 265°C (510°F) and burns at 485°C (905°F).
Polyester melts at 254°C (490°F) and burns at 488°C (910°F).
On Fri, 16 May 2014 03:30:48 +0000 (UTC), Ann Marie Brest
In WWI, early in the gas warfare stage before there were gas masks,
soldiers wet cloth with urine, which apparently absorbed chlorine and
phosgene and stuff pretty well. It's better than dying, I suppose.
It seems, from the references, that 90 seconds is the golden
time period you need to get *out* of the burning aircraft.
So, all it has to do is stay wet for a few minutes to do
the intended job of helping to dissolve HCN gases.
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