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Current Flame Retardants News and Events, Flame Retardants News Articles.
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New commuter concern: Cancerous chemical in car seats
The longer your commute, the more you're exposed to a chemical flame retardant that is a known carcinogen and was phased out of furniture use because it required a Proposition 65 warning label in California. (2020-02-07)

New progress in turbulent combustion modeling: Filtered flamelet model
Recently, a new modeling idea for turbulent diffusion flame has been proposed by Lipo Wang's group from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Jian Zhang from the Institute of Mechanics, CAS. (2020-02-07)

Fireproof, lightweight solid electrolyte for safer lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are in everything from cell phones to cars. However, recent incidents involving fires or explosions of these devices show there's a need for safer batteries. One option is to replace the flammable liquid electrolyte with a solid-state electrolyte (SSE). But some of the most-studied SSEs are themselves flammable, leaving the original safety concern unaddressed. Researchers now report in ACS' Nano Letters that they have developed an SSE that won't burn up. (2020-02-05)

Safe potassium-ion batteries
Australian scientists have developed a nonflammable electrolyte for potassium and potassium-ion batteries, for applications in next-generation energy-storage systems beyond lithium technology. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, scientists write that the novel electrolyte based on an organic phosphate makes the batteries safer and also allows for operation at reduced concentrations, which is a necessary condition for large-scale applications. (2020-01-31)

A new stretchable battery can power wearable electronics
The adoption of wearable electronics has so far been limited by their need to derive power from bulky, rigid batteries that reduce comfort and may present safety hazards due to chemical leakage or combustion. Stanford researchers have developed a soft and stretchable battery that relies on a special type of plastic to store power more safely than the flammable formulations used in conventional batteries today. (2020-01-24)

Scientists highlight potential of exposome research
The genomics revolution has provided powerful insights into genetic risk factors for human disease while also revealing the limits of genetic determinants, which account for only a fraction of total disease risk. A new article in the journal Science argues that a similar large-scale effort is needed to ensure a more complete picture of disease risk by accounting for the exposome, defined as our cumulative exposure to environmental agents such as chemical pollutants. (2020-01-23)

Ultrafast camera takes 1 trillion frames per second of transparent objects and phenomena
Caltech's Lihong Wang has adapted his picosecond imaging technology to take pictures and video of transparent objects like cells and phenomena like shockwaves. (2020-01-21)

Toward safer disposal of printed circuit boardsĀ 
Printed circuit boards are vital components of modern electronics. However, once they have served their purpose, they are often burned or buried in landfills, polluting the air, soil and water. Most concerning are the brominated flame retardants added to printed circuit boards to keep them from catching fire. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have developed a ball-milling method to break down these potentially harmful compounds, enabling safer disposal. (2020-01-15)

Flame retardants and pesticides overtake heavy metals as biggest contributors to IQ loss
Adverse outcomes from childhood exposures to lead and mercury are on the decline in the United States, likely due to decades of restrictions on the use of heavy metals, a new study finds. (2020-01-14)

Prenatal Exposure to Flame Retardants Linked to Reading Problems
A new study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons suggests that prenatal exposure to flame retardants may increase the risk of reading problems. (2020-01-10)

Perinatal exposure to flame retardant alters epigenome, predisposing metabolic disease
A UMass Amherst study showed that environmentally relevant exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a brominated flame retardant, through the umbilical cord and breast milk permanently changed liver metabolism in rats. (2019-12-13)

Potentially toxic chemicals from LCDs in nearly half of household dust samples tested
Chemicals commonly used in smartphone, television, and computer displays were found to be potentially toxic and present in nearly half of dozens of samples of household dust collected by a team of toxicologists led by the University of Saskatchewan (USask). The international research team, led by USask environmental toxicologist John Giesy, is sounding the alarm about liquid crystal monomers and the potential threat they pose to humans and the environment. (2019-12-10)

FSU researchers develop thin heat shield for superfast aircraft
The world of aerospace increasingly relies on carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites to build the structures of satellites, rockets and jet aircraft. But the life of those materials is limited by how they handle heat. A team of FAMU-FSU College of Engineering researchers from Florida State University's High-Performance Materials Institute is developing a design for a heat shield that better protects those extremely fast machines. (2019-11-14)

How everyday products are supercharging landfill gas, and what that means
Synthetic compounds increasingly used in everyday products like shampoo and motor oil are finding their way into landfills and supercharging the biogas those landfills produce, researchers at the University of Michigan have found. (2019-11-13)

Flame-retardant exposure increases anxiety, affects social behaviors in prairie vole
New research shows that early life exposure to a commonly used flame-retardant mixture increases anxiety and affects socioemotional behaviors in prairie voles, particularly in females. (2019-11-12)

UCF researchers discover mechanisms for the cause of the Big Bang
The origin of the universe started with the Big Bang, but how the supernova explosion ignited has long been a mystery -- until now. (2019-10-31)

New flame retardants, old problems
New flame retardants escaping from our TVs, other electrical and electronic products, and children's car seats are just as toxic as the flame retardants they're intended to replace, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The authors found that the replacement chemicals, called organophosphate flame retardants, have been associated with lower IQ in children, reproductive problems, and other serious health harms. (2019-10-22)

Exposure to environmental PCBs impairs brain function in mice
Human-made toxic chemicals that linger indefinitely in the environment disrupt the performance of critical helper cells in the mouse brain, leading to impaired function over long-term exposures. (2019-10-22)

Fire blankets can protect buildings from wildfires
Wrapping a building in a fire-protective blanket is a viable way of protecting it against wildfires, finds the first study to scientifically assess this method of defense. Rigorous testing reveals that existing blanket technology can protect structures from a short wildfire attack, but for successful deployment against severe fires and in areas of high housing density, technological advancement of blanket materials and deployment methods, as well as multi-structure protection strategies, are needed. (2019-10-15)

Liquid metals the secret ingredients to clean up environment
Liquid metal catalysts show great promise for capturing carbon and cleaning up pollutants, requiring so little energy they can even be created in the kitchen. (2019-10-11)

Stanford researchers have developed a gel-like fluid to prevent wildfires
Scientists and engineers worked with state and local agencies to develop and test a long-lasting, environmentally benign fire-retarding material. If used on high-risk areas, the simple, affordable treatment could dramatically cut the number of fires that occur each year. (2019-09-30)

Study tests performance of electric solid propellant
Electric solid propellants are being explored for use in dual-mode rocket engines because they aren't susceptible to ignite from a spark or flame and can be turned on and off electrically. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and NASA conducted experiments to understand the behavior of a high-performance electric propellant compared with a traditional propellant. (2019-09-03)

Flame retardants -- from plants
Flame retardants are present in thousands of everyday items, from clothing to furniture to electronics. Although these substances can help prevent fire-related injuries and deaths, they could have harmful effects on human health and the environment. Today, scientists report potentially less toxic, biodegradable flame retardants from an unlikely source: plants. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. (2019-08-26)

Analysis and detoxification in one step
Many industrial and agriculture processes use chemicals that can be harmful for workers and the ecosystems where they accumulate. Researchers from Thailand have now developed a bioinspired method to detect and detoxify these chemicals in only one step. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a combination of two natural enzymatic reactions convert harmful chloro- and nitrophenols into the substance that causes the characteristic glowing of fireflies: luciferin. (2019-08-08)

New process discovered to completely degrade flame retardant in the environment
A team of environmental scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and China has for the first time used a dynamic, two-step process to completely degrade a common flame-retardant chemical, rendering the persistent global pollutant nontoxic. (2019-08-08)

Seabirds are threatened by hazardous chemicals in plastics
An international collaboration led by scientists at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) , Japan, has found that hazardous chemicals were detected in plastics eaten by seabirds. This suggests that the seabird has been threatened by these chemicals once they eat plastics. (2019-08-02)

Toxic chemicals hindering the recovery of Britain's rivers
Toxic chemicals from past decades could be hindering the recovery of Britain's urban rivers, concludes a recent study by scientists from Cardiff University, the University of Exeter, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. (2019-08-01)

SwRI, UTSA researchers create innovative model for sCO2 power generation
Southwest Research Institute and The University of Texas at San Antonio are collaborating to acquire data for a computational model for supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) energy generation. The work, led by Jacob Delimont of SwRI's Mechanical Engineering Division and Christopher Combs of UTSA's College of Engineering, is supported by a $125,000 grant from the Connecting through Research Partnerships (Connect) Program. (2019-07-15)

Pet tags link widely used flame retardant to hyperthyroidism in cats
Feline hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine-related disease of older cats, and its prevalence has skyrocketed since the first case was diagnosed in 1979. At the same time, new household flame retardants were introduced, and recently, scientists have suspected a link. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have associated hyperthyroidism with another class of flame retardants, using silicone pet tags similar to the popular wristbands that many people wear for charitable causes. (2019-07-10)

Mattresses could emit higher levels of VOCs during sleep
Hundreds of household items, including furniture, paint and electronics, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which at high levels can pose health risks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have measured the emission rates of the gaseous compounds released by several types of polyurethane mattresses under simulated sleeping conditions, finding levels of some VOCs that could be worrisome for children and infants. However, so far there is no evidence of adverse health effects. (2019-07-10)

Curbing the flammability of epoxy resin
How to improve the flame retardant performance of two-dimensional flame retardants? In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, a team of researchers from Henan University have investigated the flame retardant performance of epoxy resin using a boron nitride nanosheet decorated with cobalt ferrite nanoparticle. (2019-06-19)

New look at old data leads to cleaner engines
New insights about how to understand and ultimately control the chemistry of ignition behavior and pollutant formation have been discovered in research led by Sandia National Laboratories. The discovery eventually will lead to cleaner, more efficient internal combustion engines. (2019-06-10)

How do foams collapse?
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have successfully found two distinct mechanisms by which foams can collapse, yielding insight into the prevention/acceleration of foam rupture in industrial materials e.g. foods, cosmetics, insulation, stored chemicals. When a bubble breaks, they found that a collapse event propagates via impact with the receding film and tiny scattered droplets breaking other bubbles. Identifying which mechanism is dominant in different foams may help tailor them to specific applications. (2019-06-08)

Compostable food containers could release PFAS into environment
Compostable food containers seem like a great idea: They degrade into nutrient-rich organic matter, reducing waste and the need for chemical fertilizers. But much of this packaging relies on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to repel water and oil. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology Letters have shown that PFAS can leach from the containers into compost. However, the potential health effects of applying this material to crops are unknown. (2019-05-29)

Plastic gets a do-over: Breakthrough discovery recycles plastic from the inside out
A team of researchers at Berkeley Lab has designed a recyclable plastic that, like a Lego playset, can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level, and then reassembled into a different shape, texture, and color again and again without loss of performance or quality. (2019-05-06)

Wristband samplers show similar chemical exposure across three continents
After Oregon State University researchers deployed chemicals to individuals on three continents, they found that no two wristbands had identical chemical detections. But the same 14 chemicals were detected in more than 50 percent of the wristbands returned from the United States, Africa and South America. (2019-04-22)

New concept for novel fire extinguisher in space
A research team at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a new concept of fire extinguishing, named Vacuum Extinguish Method. VEM is based on the ''reverse'' operation of the conventional fire extinguishing procedure; It sucks the combustion products, even flame and the firing source itself into a vacuum chamber to clean up the firing zone. This concept is advantageous for space use, as it prevents the spread of harmful combustible products throughout the enclosed cabin. (2019-04-18)

UCF develops new method to explore what happens inside fires and explosions
The inside of a fire might be the last place one would explore, but a new University of Central Florida method to do just that could lead to advances in fighting fires, creating cleaner engines and even space travel. Associate professor Subith Vasu and doctoral student Zachary Loparo in UCF's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research, developed the technique. Their findings are reported in a new study in the journal Optics Letters. (2019-04-17)

Characterization of 'hidden' dioxins from informal e-waste processing
The composition of mixed brominated/chlorinated dibenzofurans (PXDFs) and diphenyl ethers in soils from an e-waste site in Ghana suggests a formation of PXDFs through condensation of the flame retardant PBDEs and subsequent bromine-to-chlorine exchange. PXDFs were substantial contributors of toxic equivalents among dioxins from e-waste burning. (2019-04-13)

Hands spread flame retardants, plasticizers throughout homes
Hundreds of everyday items, from furniture to cell phones to floor wax, contain organophosphate ester (OPE) flame retardants and plasticizers. Some of these compounds make their way into the air, onto surfaces and even inside our bodies, with uncertain health effects. Today, researchers report that hands play a central role in transferring OPEs throughout the indoor environment. The researchers are presenting their results at the American Chemical Society Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. (2019-04-02)

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