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    About Halogens

 

What are Halogens and  why are they dangerous?

Halogens are a group of highly reactive elements including fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine. When products containing halogens are burned, they can produce very dangerous gases. Public awareness of these dangers began years ago after several tragic fires claimed the lives of victims who inhaled these deadly halogenated fumes.

Highly publicized cable fires, including those at the Pace Lahore, Al-Fatah Store, PNC Building Karachi and many others have lead to important changes that significantly limit where cables containing halogens may be used. In Asia, the United Kingdom and many European communities the use of wire and cable containing halogens is highly regulated, and in some areas completely prohibit.


Why is zero Halogen cable better ?

Two halogens – chlorine and fluorine, are found in many compounds that are used for insulating and jacketing electrical wire and cable. Common materials like PVC contains significant amounts of these halogens. PVC for example, contains  29% chlorine by weight.

Halogenated compounds are normally very stable. When they burn,
however, the halogens separate and become highly reactive - forming very toxic, extremely dangerous, highly corrosive gases that can significantly dam-age organic, inorganic and metallic materials. The hydrogen chloride gas produced from burning PVC for example, is very similar to “mustard”gas.


These halogenated gases are dangerous because when they come in contact with water – even minute amounts, they immediately form acids. The chlorine from PVC makes hydrochloric acid, and the Fluorine from Teflon makes hydrofluoric acid.
These acids are among the strongest and most corrosive that exist. The water source that the gasses use to form these acids can be found almost anywhere e.g. moisture in the eyes, throat and lungs of individuals with whom it comes in contact, as well as fire sprinkler systems and humidity in the air.



 
        
 




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