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Assessment Of Smoke Toxicity Of Building Materials

Chow, C. L., Chow, W.K. and Lu, Z. A., 2004. Assessment Of Smoke Toxicity Of Building Materials. AOFST 6


In this paper, tests and standards on assessing smoke toxicity of materials will be reviewed first. Toxic potency data such as EC50, LC50, IC50, LT50 and IT50 are briefly introduced and criticized for suitability to use. Whether LC50 is a good toxic potency parameter will be discussed. Preliminary tests on some of these toxic data for selected building materials commonly used will be assessed. Two groups of materials, i.e. timber and plastics are investigated by standard tests to determine LC50 and the fractional exposure dose (FED). Results indicated that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was very toxic in having the smallest value of LC50. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) got a higher value of LC50 and appeared to be not so toxic. Wood did not give so much smoke in testing with a cone calorimeter. Suitability of using the tested results for assessing building materials will then be discussed. In addition, smoke toxicity of some of these samples were assessed by a cone calorimeter. Results among the tests are also compared. Samples tested are timber, PMMA and PVC. Similar burning characteristics were observed. Recommendations are made on how to include smoke toxicity in the local codes. This will be useful while in implementing engineering performance-based fire codes.

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