Q:

How harmful is inhaling burnt plastic?

A:

Quick Answer

The fumes released from plastic combustion are very harmful, as they are very likely to contain the residue of the powerful solvents used in their manufacture, according to Reference.com. Fumes released by burning PVC plastics are especially dangerous as they contain a high concentration of dioxin, particulate matter and other contaminants that have negative environmental and health effects.

  Know More

Full Answer

As Reference.com explains, the solvents used in manufacturing PVC and CPVC plastics usually evaporate during the manufacturing process, but many of the active agents in the solvents remain inside the plastic matrix and are released by combustion. It is for this reason that many plastic manufacturers mold their plastics in closely monitored conditions where the temperature is tightly controlled. Often, these molding chambers are filled with inert gas to drive out the oxygen and prevent residual heat from triggering combustion and open flames that quickly consume PVC material and fill the air with choking black smoke.

Reference.com notes that most organizations that handle or transport potentially hazardous material keep an inventory on hand in case of emergency. This inventory, or material safety data sheet, is helpful in identifying the exact chemicals that have been released when plastic burns. While many plastics melt safely, they release these potentially dangerous fumes when they burn.

Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you remove odor from burnt plastic in a dishwasher?

    A:

    To remove the odor of burnt plastic from a dishwasher, take all of the dishes out the dishwasher and remove the bottom rack before cleaning up any chunks of plastic around the drain. Sprinkle baking soda across the bottom of the dishwasher and then run it through one quick cycle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does allspice contain any harmful ingredients?

    A:

    Allspice does not contain any harmful ingredients, but may cause a moderate interaction with medications that reduce blood clotting. Allspice is a plant and its unripe berries are used to make medicine and in cooking.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Is burnt popcorn bad for you?

    A:

    According to the National Cancer Institute, consuming food that has been cooked beyond a temperature of 248 degrees fahrenheit, which includes burned popcorn, may carry a health risk due to the formation of possibly carcinogenic acrylamide. Inhaling the smoke from burned popcorn could also pose a health risk.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do reptiles breathe?

    A:

    Reptiles breathe in much the same way as humans do, inhaling and exhaling through their lungs. Some reptile species may be able to assist breathing through different means, such as permeable skin for gas exchange in aquatic turtles, but all reptiles must breathe through their lungs to survive.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore