04 Dec Are fires more toxic when FRs are present? (short version)
Flame retardants are used to treat textiles to provide performance to criteria identified through an assessment of identified risks.
The amount of smoke and toxic fumes produced if flame retardants do their job will be very limited in comparison to a fire developing under the same conditions and far less than a fire allowed to simply burn out.
The data we have seen seems to be based on the effect of certain chemicals being present during the so-called clean burn phase of a fire.
We should be very careful in relating dirty burn conditions to the toxicity of chemicals.
Fires are dirty and dangerous and the advice to “get out and stay out” is worth remembering.
It is not unusual for it to be necessary to treat anyone exposed to smoke and toxic fumes in a fire for cyanide poisoning irrespective of what was burning in the fire.
There is a much longer version of this item.