Fire Safety TechnologiesUK, EU, & USBenefits and CostsGreen Science Policy InstituteVeena Singla PhDMichel Dedeo PhDArlene Blum PhD
Toolbox for Fire Safety• Decrease in smoking• Smoke detectors• Preventing ignition: Fire safe cigarettes,candles, and lighters• Sprinklers• Fire Codes• Fire safety education• Furniture flammability regulationsBenefit and harm for interventions?
Can furniture flammabilitystandards in othercountries provide usefulinformation to inform ourstandards?
Fabric over untreated foamCrib 5Foam covered in standard fabric.Ignited with crib 5: 17 g pine.Equivalent to 2 sheets newspaper.Small open flame (BS EN 1021-2).Ignited with 20 sec of 35 mm flame.Smoldering cigarette (BS EN 1021-1).UK Regulation of Residential Furniturefabricfoam2011 FIRA Flammability Guide
European Furniture RequirementsCountryFurnitureMaterial Requirement StandardEU (voluntary) seat cigarette, small flame EN 1021-1/2Finland, Sweden*,Norway seat cigarette EN 1021-1UK/Ireland seat cigarette BS EN 1021-1seat small flame BS EN 1021-2filling crib 5 BS 5852*In Sweden, furniture flammability tests are voluntaryChivas, C, et al. Fire Safety Journal (44) 2009, 801-807
Number of Lives Saved Depends on Assumptions301988 2002 20022005 ReportAnothercalculationFurnitureFire Deaths(per millionpersons) 1Regulations prevent16 deaths/yearSmoke alarmsSmoking dropRegulationsprevent 82deaths/year2005 EFRA Report:• decrease in fire deaths all attributed to UK Regs 82/year• Including smoking and smoke alarms 16/year• Including fire safety education and safer heaters ?/year100%66%33% 33%20%27%20%
2005 Surrey ReportAttributes decrease in furniture fires only to smokealarms and addition of FRs; no change in smoking
1988UK Furniture RegulationsHome Office CommunityFire Safety Campaign1991SmokeDetectorsAct1998/2000Community FireSafety CenterNational MediaCampaigns2004Home Risk Fire CheckprogramFire Safety Order 2005
averagelives savedper year2002-20072009 Report by Greenstreet Berman2009report5421math errorscorrectedQuestionable Assumptions further reduce estimate:1) Smoke detectors contribute minimally to reducing furniture firedeaths.2) Decrease in smoking affects cooking and furniture fires equally.
Fire deaths permillion pop.Netherlands Institute for Safety Nibra. Consumer fire safety: European statistics Versie: 431N8032/3.0, January 2009Fire Death Rates in Europe (2006)
FoamTypical foam formulation includes:• 20-25% melamine• 5-15% Halogenated FRs including- TCPP- TDCP- TL-10-ST (2,2-bis(chloromethyl) trimethylenebis(bis(2-chloromethyl) phosphate)- TBNPA (Tribromoneopentyl alcohol)UK Regulation of Residential FurnitureKeeping Fire in Check. 2012, EFRA
Keeping Fire in Check. 2012, EFRATextilesTypically back-coated with:• Antimony tri-oxide• Halogenated flame retardants- Deca ethane- DecaBDE- Clorinated paraffins- TTBPT (Tris(tribromophenyl)triazine)- TL-10-ST (2,2-bis(chloromethyl)trimethylenebis(bis(2-chloroethyl)phosphate)UK Regulation of Residential FurnitureToxicological Risks of Selected Flame-Retardant Chemicals. National Research Council. 2000
DecaBDE in Sludge and Dust Highest in UKSewage Sludge: Ricklund, N. et al. Chemosphere. 73 (2008) 1799-1804House Dust: Harrad, S. et al. Environ. Int. 34 (2008) 232-238520 µg/g45 µg/g12 µg/g
flame retardants previously used in USAAsbestosCarbon tetrachlorideHalonsPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)Halogenated organics:• pentaBDE• octaBDE• decaBDE• Dechlorane (Mirex)• Brominated Tris• Chloinated Tris (TDCPP)
Highest PentaBDE levels in Human Tissuein Californians051015202530351981 1983 1985 1987 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000PBDE-47,ng/glipidsCalifornia (adipose)Sweden (serum)Germany (whole blood)Canada (milk)Finland (milk)Japan (milk)Sweden (milk)Petreas, et al 2001
Health effects• Long term impacts– Interference with thyroid hormone action– Neurodevelopment: Decreased IQ, hyperactivity,autism??– Reproductive system effects: reduced ovarianfollicles, reduced sperm– Birth Defects: Cryptorchidism, hypospadias– Endocrine disruption, obesity– Cancer
Currently 3,900 scientific articlesabout PBDEsISI Web of Science and Vonderheide et al, 2008010020030040050060019851987198919911993199519971999200120032005200720092011NumberofPublicationsPublication Year
PentaBDE human health associationsassociated withHigher pentaBDElower birth weightimpaired attentionpoorer coordinationlowered IQbirth defectslonger time to get pregnantaltered thyroid hormonesMain 2007; Eskenazi et al, 2010, 2011, 2012
• TB 117:Twelve second small open flame and smolderstandard for filling materials used in upholsteredfurniture.CALIFORNIA FURNITURE FLAMMABILITY STANDARDS
Home fires that began with upholstered furniture, NFPA, Aherns, Aug 2011Smoking materials cause the most fire deathsSmoking materials(addressed by smolder standard)Candles, lighters, matches(addressed by TB117)U.S. civilian deaths from home upholstered furniture fires,1980-2009
Smolder vs. open flame firesSmolder fires• The majority, relatively easy to prevent• Flame retardants not needed to meet smolderstandardsOpen flame fires• Small number, difficult to prevent• TB117 impacts:– no significant fire safety benefit– global PentaBDE contamination
:Monday, June 18, 2012California State Agencies Directed to ChangeOpen Flame StandardTB117-2013– Smolder standards for fabric– Increased fire safety without flame retardants– 85% of fabrics already pass– 15% need to have a layer of non-FR polyesterbatting between fabric and foam
• TB 133:Severe flammability test procedure forcomposite testing of seating furniture for use inpublic occupancies.Currently cannot be economically met withoutflame retardant chemicals in the fabric, thefoam and/ or in the barriers
Comparison of furniture flammabilityregulationsOpen flameSmolderRegulation How met? Regulation How met?EU EN 1021-1Flame retardants notcommonly usedUK FFR (1988)/BS 5852Flame retardants/barriersCA TB117-2013Flame retardants notneededCA TB117 Flame retardantsCPSC 16 CFR1634Flame retardants notneededCA TB133 Flame retardants/barriersNew CPSCstandard?
Can Furniture Flammability Standards in othercountries provide a model?• Smolder standard in the EU, outside theUK, are met without flame retardants.• Open flame standards in California and theUK have led to high levels of flameretardants in dust and humans.Significant fire safety benefit?• Smolder standards such as 16CFR1634can increase fire safety without flameretardant chemicals
Toolbox for Fire Safety• Decrease in smoking• Smoke detectors• Preventing ignition: Fire safe cigarettes,candles, and lighters• Sprinklers• Fire Codes• Fire safety education• Furniture flammability regulations:– Smolder: TB117-2013 and 16CFR1634– Open flame “Barrier” standardBenefit and harm for interventions?
With improved flammability standardsWe can have increased fire safetyand a healthier world.Google: Green Science Policywww.greensciencepolicy.org