Fire performance of poly(vinyl chloride)
Polimery 2000, No 10, 720
SummaryThe behavior of PVC on fire is described. Smoke toxicity involving that of CO, HCl and dioxins, and evolution of heat and its connection with survival, are discussed. The Reports of the German Commissions set up by the Government of North Rhine and Westphalien to study the 1992 Plastics Recycling Plant at Lengerich and the 1996 Düsseldorf Airport fires are summarized. Most recent studies have shown PVC neither to create nor to increase the hazards for health and life; the low rate of heat release does even increase the time for survival. The PVC smoke is as toxic as is the smoke of other natural and synthetic materials; it is determined primarily by the carbon oxide content. Analysis of large fires showed PVC to form insignificant amounts of dioxins; so far, intoxication with dioxins or PAH has never been reported in PVC fires.