Communication to All Syncrude Contractors – May 26, 2016 Personal Protective Equipment for Wildfires Smoke

The safety of everyone at Syncrude remains our top priority

Requirement for all personnel at Syncrude Mildred Lake and Aurora sites until further notice


Components and Health Effects of Smoke


Components found in wildfire smoke including carbon monoxide, particulate matter and irritant chemicals such as formaldehyde and acrolein are primarily responsible for the health effects associated with wildfire smoke exposure. Particulate and irritant chemicals in smoke can irritate the eyes and respiratory system and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. Carbon Monoxide (CO) can cause headache, weakness, dizziness, confusion and visual impairment.


Wildfire Smoke Monitoring Program


CO and respirable sized particulate matter are monitored to ensure appropriate precautions are taken to safeguard the health and safety of personnel working in wildfire smoke conditions on Syncrude’s sites.

Syncrude’s monitoring program consists of alerting controls and protocols for action should CO or respirable particulate reach levels of concern.

If required, controls such as the mandatory donning of respiratory protective equipment will be communicated site wide.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Respiratory protective equipment and eye protection will alleviate many of the symptoms caused by wildfire smoke particulate and irritant chemical exposure. However, due to the complex composition of wildfire smoke, air purifying respirators may not provide protection from all chemical components. Air purifying cartridge and particulate respirators do not protect against exposure from CO. Therefore, appropriate alternative measures are in place in the event of CO.


Personnel can be proactive and wear respiratory and eye protection before it is deemed mandatory if irritation effects such as eye watering or coughing are experienced. If irritation effects are experienced while wearing respiratory and eye protection, wildfire smoke exposure should be avoided and workers are encouraged to visit the Syncrude Health Center.


PPE Requirements for Particulate and Irritant Chemicals in Wildfire Smoke



PPE Options



Cartridge / Filter

Eye Protection

Wildfire smoke particulate & irritant chemicals (formaldehyde & acrolein)


Full face respirator

Multi-gas & P100

(connected with filter adapter or combination cartridge)


Provided by full face respirator


Half face respirator


Organic Vapour / Acid Gas or Organic Vapour & P100

(connected with filter adapter or combination cartridge)



(<4 hrs)

Half face respirator




(<4 hrs)

N95 particulate respirator3



Notes   1. Respirator users must be trained and fit-tested for the respirator used.

2. Will only provide protection from particulate.

3. Not permitted if oil mist is present in the air.