Prof. Anna A Stec

Professor in Fire Chemistry and Toxicity

School of Physical Sciences and Computing

Maudland Building, MB055

+44 (0) 1772 89 3759

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Fire, Toxicology

Professor Anna Stec brings a diverse portfolio of research interests including quantification of toxic hazards in fires, understanding the factors that affect fire gas toxicity, and the relationship between the physiological effects of the concentration and dose of different toxicants.

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Full Profile


  • MSc (Eng)(Chemistry with Polymer Technology), Department of Chemistry and Polymer Technology, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
  • Ph.D.(Fire Chemistry and Toxicity), Fire Materials Laboratory, Centre for Materials Research and Innovation, University of Bolton, UK,
  • Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers (FIFireE)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Chartered Scientist (CSci) of the Science Council
  • Member of International Association for Fire Safety Science







Review: A.A.Stec, Fire Toxicity – the Elephant in the Room?  Fire Safety Journal Volume 91, July 2017, Pages 79-90

F. Hewitt, A. Christou, K. Dickens, R. Walker, A.A. Stec, Release of Volatile and Semi-Volatile Toxicants During House Fires, Chemosphere, 17, pp. 580-593, 2017

Giebułtowicz J, Rużycka M, Wroczyński P, Purser DA, Stec AA. Analysis of fire deaths in Poland and influence of smoke toxicity. Forensic Science International, 277:77-87, 2017

Review: L. Bengtstrom, M.L. Salden and A.A. Stec, The role of isocyanates in fire toxicity, Fire Science Reviews, 2016

A.Witkowski, A.A. Stec, T.R. Hull, Thermal Decomposition of Polymeric Materials, SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 5th Edition, Edited by M Hurley et al, 167-254, SFPE, Springer 2016 

More publications


External Affiliations and Roles

Editorial board member of Fire Technology Journal,European Journal of Environmental and Safety Sciences

Scientific Committee Member: International Congress on Combustion By-products and Their Health Effects, International Association for Fire Safety Science,European Meeting on Fire Retardancy and Protection of Materials, International Conference Modern Trends of Fire Protection in Rolling Stock, International Scientific and Technical Conference Emergency Evacuation of People From Buildings 

Designated representative of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) to the British Standards (BSI) Hazard to Life from Fire (FSH/16) technical committee,

UK’s designated principal expert on Fire Chemistry to the ISO Fire Threat to People and the Environment subcommittee (ISO/TC92/SC3)

Current projects

  • Understanding the factors affecting the acute and chronic toxicity of fire effluents
  • Addressing the alarming rate of cancers are amongst fire fighters
  • Quantifying the airborne particulates from fires
  • Assessing the impact of large waste fires on humans and the environment
  • Fire toxicity of fire retardant materials
  • Fire toxicity of insulation materials
  • Development of pyGCMS for analysis of fire effluents
  • Validation of bench scale fire toxicity assessment by development of a full-scale reference fire scenario


  • European Parliament, MEPs Against Cancer (MAC), European Parliament Interest Group, 2017
  • UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee - Fire Resistant Materials meeting, London, 2017
  • 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, Sweden, 2017
  • 15th International Congress on Combustion By-products and Their Health Effects, Korea, 2017
  • 16th Fire Retardant Polymeric Materials, UK, 2017


Fire Toxicity is highly multidisciplinary, ranging from physical science and engineering to analytical chemistry and polymer science to mammalian physiology and toxicology  (to understand the effects of, and interactions between toxicants), through to human behaviour and statistical analysis of complex datasets.

Prof Stec research activities include:

  • Establishing relationships between fire effluent toxicity, material composition, temperature and ventilation conditions (involving burning under controlled conditions, effluent analysis, toxicity and fire modelling.
  • Analysing and interpreting data to make comparisons of the fire gases evolved from different standard apparatuses (FTIR, HPIC, HPLC, GCMS, ICPMS, Spectrophotometry, Chemiluminescence, NDIR, EGA).
  • Analysing soot particles from fires (assessment of inhalation toxicology of nanoparticles).
  • Sampling, and analysing fire effluents which can harm the environment (PAHs, heavy metals, isocyanate and dioxin analysis).
  • Measuring smoke and toxic effluents from a large fire in a real two floor house – providing the crucial link between laboratory studies and actual fire deaths in people's homes.
  • Analysing and experimental studying scale up phenomena from bench and large scale test methods.
  • Identifying fire scenarios where sub-lethal exposures to smoke and toxic gases are leading to significant harm, by comparison of predictive calculations (ISO 13571, ISO13344).