Professor Anna Stec
Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicity
School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Anna Stec is Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicity at the University of Central Lancashire. She has extensive experience and a portfolio of research in identifying and quantifying toxic hazards (acute and chronic) in and from fires and understanding the factors that affect fire smoke toxicity. She co-edited the reference book “Fire Toxicity” and published around 100 papers on fire effluents and their effects on humans and the environment.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Prof Stec was appointed to the UK government’s Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame s Judith Hackitt, where she highlighted the need to introduce regulation on smoke toxicity. She was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG), invited by the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, to oversee investigation of soil contamination and adverse health effects following the Grenfell Tower fire. She also presented crucial oral and written evidence to the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee for their report on “Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life”.
Currently, Prof Stec is an Expert Witness to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on fire toxicity. She is also leading a research project, co-funded by the Fire Brigades Union, to identify the causes and higher rates of cancers in UK firefighters. She was recently selected by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, to serve on the “Chemistry of Urban Wildfires Committee”.
Prof Stec is a member of several scientific and conference programme committees and journal editorial boards. She is an external examiner and peer reviewer for the Government of Alberta (Canada) and Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education. She is a Fellow of both the Institution of Fire Engineers (FIFireE) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), chartered scientist of the Science Council and an expert of the British Burn Association. She is also UK’s designated principal expert on fire chemistry on the ISO Fire Threat to People and the Environment subcommittee (ISO TC92/SC3).
- PhD (Fire Chemistry and Toxicity), Centre for Materials Research and Innovation, University of Bolton, UK, 2007
- MSc (Eng) (Chemistry with Polymer Technology) Department of Chemistry and Polymer Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, 2003
- Prof Stec’s research work is truly multidisciplinary. It covers a full range of expertise from fire combustion to medicine embracing chemistry, biology, health and environmental sciences. The particular areas of expertise are:
- Fire toxicity
- Environmental toxicity
- Fire chemistry
- Fire investigation
- Chartered Chemist (CChem), Royal Society of Chemistry
- Chartered Scientist (CSci), The Science Council
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
- Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers (FIFireE)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
- Member of the British Burn Association Expert Panel
- Member of International Association for Fire Safety Science
- Expert Witness to the Grenfell Inquiry
- Member on the Chemistry of Urban Wildfires Committee, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, US
- Visiting Professor at Warsaw Medical University, Poland
- Principal UK expert to the ISO technical committee on fire chemistry
Prof Stec’s primary interest is on the toxic chemicals released in and from fires and what effects they have on human health. She has also focused on the importance of minimising environmental exposures and chemical hazards, both indoor and outdoor, through such media as contaminated air or soil. Recently she has highlighted best practice for the decontamination of Fire and Rescue Service personnel and firefighting equipment after exposure to toxic fire effluent.
More information on Professor Stec's research can be found on the Centre for Fire and Hazards Sciences webpages.
Some examples of Prof Stec’s publications are given below:
Books: Fire Toxicity Edited by A.A Stec and T.R. Hull, Woodhead Publishing, 2010
Report: Minimising firefighters' exposure to toxic fire effluents -Interim Best Practice Report, An Independent report commissioned by Fire Brigades Union, 2020 , an independent report commissioned by Fire Brigades Union, 2020
Environmental contamination following the Grenfell Tower fire, Chemosphere, 226, pp. 576-586, 2019
Occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and elevated cancer incidence in firefighters, Scientific Reports, 8(1),2476, 2018
Fire Toxicity – the Elephant in the Room? Fire Safety Journal, 91, pp. 79-90, 2017
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Google Scholar
- Centre for Fire and Hazards Science
- UK Firefighters Cancer and Disease Registry
- Minimising firefighters' exposure to toxic fire effluents
- The circumstances leading up to and surrounding the fire at Grenfell Tower
- Environmental impact of fire residues
- Quantify the influence of fire effluents and residues on indoor air quality
- Fire Brigades Union “Firefighter Lethal Diseases and Methods for their Prevention”
- EU FP7 NMP (NMP.2012.1.3-1) "Development of safer and more Eco-friendly flame Retardant materials based on CNT co-additives for Commodity Applications" (DEROCA)
- EU COST Action FLARETEX (COST Action number MP1105) "Sustainable flame retardancy for textiles and related materials based on nanoparticles substituting conventional chemicals"
- EPSRC “Measurement and Prediction of Fire Smoke Toxicity of Materials in Enclosures”
Use the links below to view their profiles: