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flame retardants

Flame Retardant Basics
Image: iStockphoto.com/georgeclerk

Flame Retardant Basics

Flame retardants are chemicals applied to or incorporated in many items — from clothing to furniture to airplane interiors — to prevent them from catching fire, to slow a fire's progress, or to delay the burst of flames that intensifies a fire ("flashover").

Although useful, flame retardant chemicals can accumulate in the body, possibly causing harmful effects to health. Explore this controversial topic.

American Chemistry Council
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Fireproof Balloon?

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When you put a balloon filled with water over a flame, why doesn't it pop? And what does this have to do with heat transfer and capacity — or flame retardants? Have an adult around if you decide to try this. More...

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UCSB ScienceLine
Fire Retardant Video Demonstration

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A fire retardant manufacturer demonstrates the ways that its plant-based, non-toxic fire retardant can protect a wide range of materials. Don’t try to copy these tests at home. More...

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Soldiers apply makeup to camouflage their faces, but a new formula also offers protection from the intense heat of bomb blasts. More...

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Science News for Students
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Which kind of Christmas tree does better in a fire: a well-cared-for live tree or an artificial tree labeled as “flame retardant?” The answer may surprise you. More...

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Thermo-Man Demonstration

Thermo-Man stands in for an actual worker to demonstrate the amount of protection DuPont flame retardant clothing offers in a flash fire, a real hazard in certain workplaces. See the results. More...

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DuPont

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