22nd Oct 2014 11:34:30 AM

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Children of Fire Plastic Poison Fires

Children of Fire has started a project in 2006 looking at the Toxicity of Burning Plastics in relation to squatter camp rooftop waste. The initial results indicate that the most harmful product in a squatter camp fire, is the polyurethane-based mattresses which give off cyanide gas as they burn.

The gases are harmful to squatter camp residents and to fire fighters. They affect the survival chances of people caught in the blazes.

As seen in the pictures below, the fire at the squatter camp in Malvern, Johannesburg on 5th June 2006 left only the springs of countless mattresses - the rest was totally burned away.

Key researcher on this project is Tristan De Ionno-Jones.

He has been assisted by Annabe Pretorius of the Plastics Federation and others at the South African Bureau of Standards fire testing laboratory and the toxin testing laboratory in Pretoria.

The project is on-going and communications from other researchers are welcome to: firechildren@icon.co.za attn: Tristan

fully combusted mattress at Malvern, only the springs remain fully combusted mattress at Malvern, only the springs remain
fully combusted mattress at Malvern, only the springs remain fully combusted mattress at Malvern, only the springs remain
plastic plate part-survives the inferno at Malvern different stove, same scene
paraffin stove amid the ashes of Malvern Fire 6th June 2006, Johannesburg Annabe Pretorius, polymer scientist at the Plastics Federation, meets burns survivors as part of the toxicity of burning plastics project.
furnace testing building materials SABS Fire Lab building materials testing;



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This material is Copyright The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2014.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za