From: Karen Salazar <kls_1**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Interesting article about flame retardants
Date: January 28, 2013 6:49:34 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <8CFCBB81FA1E791-6F0-3688D**At_Symbol_Here**>

Considering the discussion about flame retardant lab coats, I saw this article about flame retardants today.  I thought it might interest the group.


On Jan 28, 2013, at 3:46 PM, Monona Rossol wrote:

My expertise is in flame retarding theatrical curtains, cycs, costumes etc.  And there is no way I would take a treated fabric over one that is inherently fire retarded like Nomex.  All of the applied chemical retardants fail.  And they are not all boron compounds as implied in one post.  There are a flock of very different chemicals used and often they are trade secrets on top of it.
Theatrical curtains come with a certificate telling you when they must be retreated.  If they are inherently resistant, there is no time limit except the common sense one of checking to see when there there is so much dust on the fabric the dust itself becomes a fire issue.  As the rule, theatrical curtains are not regularly cleaned.  And when they are, the treated curtain's certificate is voided and it must be retreated. 
The CPSC and ASTM have fire retarded fabric standard tests that include laundering tests.  We use at these standards when costumes need to be retarded as when fire or pyro will be used on stage.   Recently, these CPSC standards were updated to include modern washing machines and detergents.  But it is clear there could be some unpleasant surprises in the speed with which the retarding chemicals are removed because the formulas of detergent products are constantly changing and new chemicals that CPSC and ASTM did not consider are being added.
I also suggest you all make sure your written procedures forbid the use of fabric softeners or dryer sheets when lab coats are laundered.  These softeners coat the fibers with chemicals that make them more combustible.  The softeners also separate and fluff the fibers which increases susceptibility to burning.   You might notice that all drier sheets now come in dispensers that only release one sheet at a time.  When they were on a roll, they became the preferred choice of arsonists who could use them like a giant long fuse.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin M. Izzo <rmizzo**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Sent: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 11:54 am
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Flame Resistance & Lab Coats


I will look for the literature on this, but to quickly answer about the treated 
coats vs. Nomex, the companies that sell the treated coats say that the fire 
resistance begins to fail after two years.  The Nomex is more expensive, but the 
fire resistance does not fade.

I have seen some literature on all but the human toxicity of the treated FR 


Robin M. Izzo, M.S.
Associate Director, EHS
Princeton University
609-258-6259 (office)
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
~ Mark Twain  

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of 
Russell Vernon
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:01 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Flame Resistance & Lab Coats

So the discussion in the UC Lab Safety world now includes flame retardant lab 
coats and human/environmental potential consequences.

I would greatly appreciate being pointed toward information that would help us 
more intelligently discuss these concerns:

How good are FR coats in a real flammable liquid fire? How does that compare to 
non-FR lab coats?
Are the treated cloth lab coats inferior to the "Nomex" type? 
Do the modern treated FR coats demonstrate any human toxicity or environmental 
adverse effects?

Literature that may help us in answering these kinds of questions is what I am 
asking you to help me find.


Russell Vernon, Ph.D.


Environmental Health & Safety

University of California Riverside

900 University Ave

Riverside, CA 92521


direct 951.827.5119

admin 951.827.5528

fax 951.827.5122

after hours emergency contact UCPD 951.827.5222

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] on behalf of Secretary, 
ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG]
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (12 articles)

From: Melissa Charlton-Smith <charltonsmith**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (12 articles)
Date: January 25, 2013 1:33:49 PM EST

>Nitric acid is aqueous, so how can it be flammable (in the Tripoli 

Possibly someone who KNOWS told the reporter that it's an oxidizer and at 
certain concentrations can cause combustion in contact with combustible 
materials....and the reporter took the short root to "it's flammable".

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