Polyesters: A Review of the Literature on Products of Combustion and Toxicity.
Polyesters: A Review of the Literature on Products of
Combustion and Toxicity.
Braun, E.; Levin, B. C.
NBSIR 85-3139; 71 p. June 1985.
Fire and Materials, Vol. 10, No. 3-4, 107-124,
Sponsor:Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC
Available from: National Technical Information Service
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combustion products; flame retardants; literature
reviews; polyesters; pyrolysis; toxicity; thermal
The available literature was reviewed to determine the
nature and extent of information available on the
thermal decomposition products and the toxicity of the
combustion products of polyester materials used in
consumer applications such as textiles and building
construction. This literature review is limited to those
publications printed in English through June 1984. The
thermal decomposition products of polyesters are a
function of temperature and oxygen content of the
atmosphere. In general, as the temperature increases,
the quantity of heavier hydrocarbons decrease and the
production of CO and CO2 increases. The presence of
flame retardant additives, such as bromine and
chlorine-containg compounds, produce halogenated
combustion products. The use of phosphorus and bromine
together in the same flame retardant finish increases
the concentration of low molecular weight compounds.
Thirteen different test protocols have been used to
evaluate the toxicity of various types of polyester.
Non-flame retarded polyesters give measured LC50 values
ranging from 30.5 mg/1 to 95.7 mg/1, while flame
retarded polyesters, have LC50 values ranging from 24.0
mg/1 to 38.0 mg/1. Several exceptions, however, are
noted. Toxicologists consider these differences to be
not significant. In general, the results from
large-scale tests are ambiguous because of the presence
of other materials in addition to the polyester.