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This report represents a summary of SP Report 2003:22 “Fire-LCA Model: Furniture Study” prepared for EFRA and IKEA by SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. Results are also summarised from two previous Fire-LCA studies (SP Report 2000:13 and SP Report 2001:22). Full results from all studies can be obtained from www.sp.se/fire . The assistance of Christopher Thornton in producing the first draft of this summary is gratefully acknowledged.

Front cover photos: Photo 1: Close-up of burning non-flame retarded Klippan sofa. (Source: Dr Adrian Beard). Note that the sofa

pictured has polystyrene support frame while the sofas in the LCA study were wood framed. Photo 2: Burning non-flame retarded Klippan sofa. (Source: Dr Adrian Beard) Note that the sofa pictured has

polystyrene support frame while the sofas in the LCA study were wood framed. Photo 3: Photo of full room used in study prior to ignition. The layout of the room was the same in all room tests.

The model sofa used is visible in the left hand side of the photo. Photo 4: Photo of room after flashover, 16 minutes after ignition of the non-flame retarded sofa. Photo 5: Photo of room after extinction, all organic material is consumed in the fire.

EFRA – the European Flame Retardants Association EFRA brings together some 20 companies, which manufacture or use flame retardants in their products in Europe, including large global companies and specialist SMEs. EFRA covers all types of flame retardants: chemicals based on bromine, phosphorus, nitrogen, minerals, boron, and intumescent systems. EFRA’s objectives are to promote fire safety, to coordinate studies and research relating to flame retardant chemicals, and to represent the industry. EFRA is a sector of Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, Brussels. www.cefic-efra.com

EFRA research activities EFRA’s current (2003) research activities include

  • Fire-LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) studies comparing flame-retarded (FR) and non-FR furniture

  • up-to-date assessment of European fire statistics, taking into account decreases in smoking and increased installation of fire alarms

  • assessment of emissions of flame retardants from consumer products over time and under use

  • environmental assessment of compatibility of flame retardants with recovery of energy and metals from electrical and electronic wastes in smelters

EFRA – a Cefic Sector Group – avenue E. van Nieuwenhuyse 4 bât. 2, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium.

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