Flame retardants are used to meet fire safety requirements for plastics in applications as diverse as the transport, furniture, construction and electrical engineering/electronics industries. Their effect is to prevent a fire from occurring, or to limit its spread if it does break out. In flame retarded plastics, environmental criteria are playing an increasingly prominent role. Fire safety for humans and property has to be balanced against environmental and legislative considerations including toxicity of emissions and low smoke production.
There has been an increasing demand for fire retardant versions of a range of plastics. According to Freedonia Group global demand for flame retardants is projected to expand 4.6 percent per year through 2018 to 2.8 million metric tons, valued at USD7.0 billion.
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