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Flame retardants: European Union Risk Assessments Update

SpecialChem / May 19, 2004

Flame retardants are recognized as providing lifesaving benefits to consumers by lowering product ignitability, fire development rates and smoke production. In recent years, some flame retardants have come under review by the European Union (EU) authorities in order to assess potential risks to the environment or to human health. In the period 2004-2006, a number of flame retardants will be subject to finalized European risk assessments. Applications, uses and benefits Flame retardants are additives that can be added to or applied as a treatment to organic materials such as plastics and textiles. Alternatively they can be used during the production process as a chemical modification of some plastic materials. Their main effect is to reduce the chances of a fire starting by providing increased resistance to ignition. Even if ignition does occur, flame retardants will act to delay the spread of flame, providing extra time in the early stages when the fire can be extinguished or an escape can be made.

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