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December 2, 2019

Prysmian in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

Prysmian Group, world leader in energy and telecom cable systems, has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World, recognising environmental, social and governance performance.


Tratos Queen’s Award for LSZH cables

Leading European electrical, electronic and fibre optic cables manufacturer, Tratos, is amongst the 2019 UK Queen’s Award Enterprise winners for innovation for its new Tratos JBA cable sheathing elastometric compound.


Market for PIN flame retardants continuing to grow

A number of new market studies predict continuing growth for flame retardant demand, particularly for PIN FRs. DataMintIntelligence predict 6.2% growth for overall FR markets worldwide 2019-2026, with increasing application in construction, E&E and generally in plastics.


IAFSS publishes agenda for fire safety

The International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) has published (in Fire Safety Journal) its “Agenda 2030 for a fire safe world”, as a call for dialogue between fire scientists, fire engineers, regulators and funding agencies.


Keratin from waste feathers as a PIN flame retardant

New Zealand researchers are developing a process to extract keratin from waste poultry feathers and produce a PIN flame retardant. Some 40 million tonnes (1) of chicken feathers are generated worldwide, considered as a waste.


Dissent over study on toxicity of FR furniture smoke

A study led by UCLAN UK centering on toxicity of smoke from FR furniture has led to publication by the same journal of an immediate rebuttal.


Three times more wildfires in Europe this year

The European Commission’s (JRC Copernicus) European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) indicates that the number of wildfires occurring in the EU in 2019 (to mid August) was three times higher than the average (for the same months) for the decade 2008-2018.


Scientists scrutinise phosphorus FRs

Arlene Blum, Heather Stapleton and several other scientists from six universities in North America have published a paper comparing toxicity and exposure of organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) to brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Firstly, total levels of OPFRs in water and air are compared to total PBDEs, showing to be generally higher.


NIST tests of furniture fire barriers published

Cone calorimeter tests carried out by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology into effectiveness of barrier fabrics in furniture are now published.


EEA says plastics recycling needs action

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published two Briefings on “Resource Efficiency and Waste”, one of which specifically targets plastics recycling.


NGO questions “chemical recycling” of plastics

The environmental NGO Zero Waste Europe has published a position paper on “chemical recycling” of plastics. The NGO’s position is that chemical recycling does have “a role to play in closing the material loop and moving … up the waste hierarchy”, but that policy priorities should be firstly to reduce and reuse, and secondly to mechanical recycling.


Additives enabling plastics upcycling

Unlike post-industrial plastics recycling, dealing with known and homogenous materials, post consumer recycling (PCR) poses challenges because the feedstream is variable and contains a mixture of different polymers and additives, with differing processing characteristics (rheology).

November 4, 2019

Furniture fire safety

Konrad Wilkens Flecknoe-Brown, DBI (Danish Institute of Fire & Security Technology), presented fire tests of polyurethane slabs (1.2m x 0.6m x 50mm), showing that flame spread, time to peak heat release, and peak heat release rate are all very variable and dependent on the point of ignition (edge and corner effects).


Conference paper prize winners interviews

Most of the current fire safety solutions were developed in response to and based on fire accidents that occurred in the past, often some time ago.


Tomorrow’s fire safety applications

Brian Lattimer, Jensen Hughes (now with Virginia Tech), USA, summarised challenges for fire safety requirements in railways in the USA.


Environment and health challenges for fire fighters

Margaret Macnamee, Lund University, presented the Fire Impact Tool (developed from the ENVECO tool), to provide decision support and training information to firefighters on LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) and ERA (local Environmental Risk Assessment) related to different fire interventions.


Interview / vision – Colleen Wade, best paper award

The predictability of heavy timber (or mass timber) structures in fire is often given as a benefit, and while this is generally true in relation to standard fire resistance tests, it is not necessarily the case in real fire events.


New fire safety challenges for wood products

Presentations noted the strong growth potential of wood-based materials, as a sustainable and ‘desirable’ construction material, but also the specific fire safety challenges to address.


Need for integrated approach to fire safety

Patrick Van Hees, Lund University, underlined that fire safety is increasingly complex, with new materials and evolving building design, so that reliance on past fire scenarios is inadequate.


Façade fires and consequences of Grenfell

A recurrent theme at Interflam was follow-up from the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. (14 June 2017). Despite previous occurrences of fires in high-rise building exterior cladding, it seems this disaster was necessary for regulators to take action.


Interflam 2019

The 40th “Interflam” conference (organiser: Interscience) was organised at the Royal Holloway College campus, University of London, UK, 1st – 3rd July 2019.

October 30, 2019

EU RoHS Directive consultation

The European Commission has opened (to 6 December 2019) a public consultation on “evaluation of restrictions” on hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC).


EU consultation on POPs

The European Commission has opened a public consultation, to 11th November 2019, on the EU Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention (POPs – Persistent Organic Pollutants).


Canada Government assessment of trixylyl phosphate

Canada’s federal Department of the Environment submitted for public consultation (closed 11th September 2019) an assessment of three phosphorus chemicals, including trixylyl phosphate which can be used as a flame retardant in e.g. lubricants, plastics, wires and cables, and two other phosphorus chemicals used in cosmetics and food packaging plastics.

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