estimation of emissions from a full house fire. The Swedish TV was easily ignited with a small flame (match equivalent). The US (flame retarded TV) could not be ignited with the small flame, and did not continue to burn after application of a 10kW gas burner, extinguishing as soon as the flame was removed. A large burner 30kW was necessary to achieve ignition and even then only around 2/3 of the combustible material in the US TV was consumed (compared to near 100% in the Swedish TV ignited by a small flame).
Data was also collected on TV end-of-life, including studies showing that flame retardants are compatible with recycling of TV casings (HIPS plastics) and an investigation of the effects on emissions of FR plastics in waste incinerator streams.
Using the TV-related fire statistics to assess the full life cycle of the TV sets (emissions in manufacture, disposal, and in accidental fires), the flame retarded TV showed overall slightly lower emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, HCl, HCN; higher HBr and SO2 emissions; very similar energy use, CO2 and particle emissions; but considerably lower total emissions of both PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and dioxins/furans. Comparison between the significance of the PAH emissions relative to the TCDD-equivalent emissions was conducted using a modification of the Unit Risk Factor cancer risk model. Results are summarised in the table below and clearly indicate that PAH emissions are far more significant than TCDD- equivalent emissions in this case.
Cancer risk factor of PAH relative to TCDD-equiv.
Unit Risk factor (URF)
BaP1-equiv. (kg) 2 TCDD-equiv. (kg) 2 Cancer risk factor3
7×10-2 µg/m3 1.4 µg/m3
1.46 1.36×10-5 102
1 2 3
PAH-equivalents relative to benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), the most toxic PAH
For one million TV sets over their 10 year life time. (BaP-equiv. emissions×URFBaP) + (TCDD-equiv.×URFTCDD
) × 1000
The results of the TV Fire-LCA for PAH and TCDD/TBDD-equivalents for one million TV sets over their 10 year life cycle are given below.
NFR TV Today
FR TV Today
NFR TV Today
FR TV Today
NFR TV Future
FR TV Future
TBDD-equiv. (grey), TCDD-equiv. (black)
Fire LCA of electrical cables
“Fire-LCA model: cables case study”, Brandforsk Project 703-991, SP Report 2001:22 (www.sp.se)
Electrical and data cables present a significant fire load in buildings. In this case, the fire LCA study looked at two different types of typical household electrical cables, both with three 1.5mm2 copper wire conductors, one with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) sheathing, the other using halogen-free flame retarded polyethylene (using the CASICO formulation).