Flame retardants are Effective

Albemarle’s products are not only tested for safety, we also test the effectiveness of our products according to recognized scientific criteria.  In addition to our tests, independent research has shown that flame retardants reduce the impact of fires.

Data shows that flame retardants are effective in electronics

Due to their low weight, excellent physical performance, design possibilities and cost-efficiency, plastics are the material of choice for electronics cabinets and enclosures. For example, most LCD TVs today have plastic cabinets that combine strength with lightweight and modern designs. One way to meet fire safety requirements in electronic components with plastic enclosures is the addition of flame retardants to the plastic resins.

Studies conducted on TVs and computer monitors have demonstrated that flame retardants are effective in preventing fires (Troizsch, 1988).  In the United States, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) sets the fire safety standard, known as UL 94, for TV enclosures. This standard is followed voluntarily by TV manufacturers in the US and Japan (Troizsch, 1988).

A study commissioned by the government of the United Kingdom in 2001 (UK Department of Trade and Industry, 2001) determined that the incidence of TV fires in the UK was 280% greater than in the US. They attributed that difference to the UL standard voluntarily applied in the US that was not applied in Europe at that time.

Data shows that flame retardants slow and prevent fires in furniture

A recent government-funded study concluded that furniture fire safety standards in the US, such as those found in California, save lives, increase the escape time for families and increase the available response time for the arrival of fire personnel (Blais, 2012).

In 2008, California’s Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation concluded: “Since 1975 (when regulations came into force), the incidence of fire death, injury and property loss due to fires involving upholstered furniture has dropped at a higher per capita rate in California than in the United States as a whole” (State of California, 2008). In fact, California’s per capita death rate from fire is 60% less than that of the national average (USFA, 2008).

Studies conducted in Great Britain found that the British Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations resulted in 54 fewer deaths per year, 780 fewer non-fatal casualties per year, and 1,065 fewer fires per year following the introduction of the regulations in 1988.   Approximately 710 lives were saved in the ten years following the adoption of these regulations (
Greenstreet Berman Ltd., 2009a).

Last Updated: 1/26/2016 4:09:33 PM