Flame Retardants Helped Save Lives

On August 2, an Air France jet crashed
on landing at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.  Fortunately, a tragedy
was averted and all 309 passengers and crewmembers escaped.  While the
investigation is still underway, safety officials have credited fire-resistant
materials in the plane as a key factor in preventing loss of life.According to the Washington Post, safety officials said, “the fire-
retardant material now required in aircraft cabins may have helped slow the
spread of flames and smoke, enabling all crew members and passengers to
escape.”  The Post noted the plane was subject to “new regulations requiring
fire-retardant treatment of seat cushions, carpet and other materials.”
  John Hickey of the Federal Aviation Administration told National Public
Radio that the agency has gradually bought survivors more time by requiring
the use of more fire-resistant materials.  “Many of the changes we did back in
the ‘80s, including the insulation material and the interior materials in the
airplane, are more resistant to catching fire,” said Hickey.
  This is just the latest dramatic example of how flame retardants save
lives.  Whether in protective clothing, furniture, mattresses, television sets
or airplanes, flame retardants work silently to protect the public and fire
fighters and reduce injuries and property damage from fires.
——-