Respirable toxicants are a spectrum of irritant and nonirritant gases, vapors, fumes, and airborne particles that can be entrained into the body through the respiratory tract, resulting in exposures that cause pulmonary injury and/or systemic disease. Sources of respirable toxicants include structural fires, industrial accidents, domestic mishaps, and intentional releases of injurious agents on the battleground (warfare) or in civilian settings (acts of terrorism). Acute toxic inhalational exposures may result in respiratory failure, multisystem organ dysfunction, and death. Management of victims includes assessment and protection of the airway, monitoring and treatment of systemic toxicity, and delivery of exposure-specific and nonspecific therapies that improve outcomes. Treatments may include antidotes, hyperbaric oxygen, and other nonspecific life-supporting interventions.
Chen, Malli, Maslove, Wang, Kuschner, , , , (). Toxic inhalational exposures. Journal of intensive care medicine, ;28(6):323-33. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22232204