This report was submitted to IATSE by Aura Health & Safety Corporation in April 2018.

With the increased use of fog-based products in the entertainment industry, interest in the health effects of fog exposures among workers in the industry has also grown. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) requested Aura Health and Safety Corporation (Aura) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to conduct air monitoring of fog aerosol exposures. Since fog special effects used in film and theatrical productions typically use organic-based fog products, the focus of the study involves examining glycol and glycerin-based fogs.

The aim of the study is to address the following objectives:

1) Develop correction factors* that can be used with a direct-reading instrument for assessing exposures released by fog fluid products containing propylene glycol, triethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, butylene glycol, and glycerin.

2) Evaluate parameters that affect the correction factors, such as product chemical composition and aerosol particle size.

*Correction factors = conversion (multiplicative value) of DustTrak’s total aerosol concentration measurements into glycol and glycerin aerosol concentrations

METHODS

11 fog fluids were assessed for glycol and glycerin composition

    • Look Solutions Regular Fog
    • Rosco Stage & Studio
    • Rosc V-Hazer
    • Ultratec Molecular Fog
    • CITC 15-second Fog
    • Ultratex Director’s Choice
    • Luminous 7 Haze
    • Rosco Clear Fog Fluid
    • CITC Organic Haze
    • Rosco Fog Fluid
    • C-Beam Regular Haze Fluid

CONCLUSIONS

    • There is some evidence of negative human health outcomes, namely irritation, from exposure to aerosols from glycol/glycerin fog fluid products
    • Correction factors and maximum aerosol concentrations are lower for glycerin-based fog fluids compared with glycol-based fog fluids assessed in this report
    • The propylene glycol-based fog fluids assessed in this report are associated with higher correction factors and higher maximum glycol aerosol concentration than other glycol fog fluids;
    • The correction factor for a given fog fluid may be affected by additional factors not evaluated here

RECOMMENDATIONS

    • When choosing a fog fluid for use, consider the glycerin/glycol compounds in the fluid and their effect on correction factors reported in this study
    • Visually distinguishing between low fog concentrations, specifically DustTrak readings between 10 and 50 mg/m3, is difficult and may not be reliable
    • To gain a more accurate measure of aerosol concentrations in this range, consider having fog technicians perform aerosol monitoring

To read the full document, and to print, click here (2.62 mB).