Process Name

Burning Synthetic Polymers


Carbon monoxide is the most important toxic gas released from the combustion of synthetic polymers. Significant exposure to monomers is unlikely after thermal degradation of polymers. [Occup Med 1993 Jul-Sep;8(3):533-47] Burning polymers may also release: 1.) acrylonitrile (polyurethanes, polyacrylonitrile, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acryloinitrile polymers); 2.) aldehydes (polyethylene), 3.) ammonia (nylon and urea-formaldehyde resins); 4.) benzene (polyvinyl chloride and polyester); 5.) HCl (polyvinyl chloride and chloroprene rubber); 6.) HCN (nylon, polyacrylonitrile, and urea-formaldehyde resins); 7.) isocyanates (polyurethane products); 8.) methyl methacrylate (polymethyl methacrylate); NO2 (nylon); 9.) phenol (polycarbonates and epoxy resins); 10.) phosgene (polyvinyl chloride); and 11.) styrene (polystyrene, ABS and stryene-acrylonitrile. [Rom, p. 478; ILO Encyclo: Plastics Industry]



Related Information in Haz-Map

Hazardous agents associated with this process: