Inherent Flame Resistance: An Answer for Both Health and Performance
The need for flame retardancy in materials
The use of flame retardant materials can buy victims valuable escape time in the event of a fire.
That is why hundreds of chemicals have been used since the 1970s to stop the fire spread and save lives. These chemicals include brominated flame retardants (the most commonly used), OFRs, TBBPA, HBCD, and OPFRs. It's worth noting that brominated flame retardants belong to the same class of chemicals as PCBs, which were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1979.
The two faces of "flame retardants"
Flame retardants can be found in various products such as furniture foams, carpets, curtains, textiles, appliances, car seats, and baby products. However, with the increasing number of bans on flame retardants, it is important to consider the dual challenges they pose. These chemicals are considered persistent and bioaccumulate, meaning they can become concentrated inside the bodies of living things and have an impact on the environment and human health.
Research reports have shown that exposure to flame retardants can affect the nervous and reproductive systems.
For example, HBCD has been linked to potential effects on liver, thyroid function, and the endocrine system.
PBDEs have been associated with changes in thyroid hormones among pregnant women, potentially affecting both mother and baby. Additionally, DE-71, a type of PBDE, has displayed carcinogenic effects in animals.
TBBPA has been found to cause cancer in mice.
Can't we get safe & healthy?
Considering the need for both fire safety and reduced environmental and health impacts, the question arises: Can't we do both?
The answer is yes!
One solution is adopting silicone materials that inherently possess flame resistance without the need for additives. By using silicone materials, we can provide fire protection while reducing the negative impact on the environment and human health. This approach allows us to meet fire standards across various industries.
Silicone fabrics, such as Sileather silicone fabrics, can be used as cover materials for furniture, wall panels, and other soft products. This helps achieve both flame resistance and environmental sustainability, offering a balance between health and performance requirements.