Diane Daems: future fire safety solutions will be case-by-case and will include both PIN FRs and the development of intrinsically fire resistant polymers, either through polymer chemistry design or by integration of reactive FRs into the polymer matrix. New FR chemicals, bio-sourced or synthetic, must offer long-term sustainability, whatever chemistry is used. Life cycle analysis can support this, looking at not only toxicity but also through to end-of-life. Both regulation (REACH) and voluntary schemes (Ecolabels) can drive this.
Low smoke emission and low smoke toxicity are important, but it must be remembered that the most important factors are preventing fires and slowing their development. Fire fighters health requires specific attention. Smoke, soot and solid fire remains are always toxic. These toxic effluents increase massively when fires develop to reach flashover. Guidelines should be improved for fire fighter intervention, person protective equipment, decontamination.