Plastics burn — but then again, so do many traditional materials that plastics have replaced. Still, the public has a misconception that plastic presents an exceptional danger in fires, when the fact is that plastics can be treated to be safer and less easily ignited than many other materials.
The polyurethane foam industry has fought this battle for many years, especially as it relates to the safety of upholstered furniture. Industry efforts correctly have targeted the real source of the problem — cigarette fires. That work has been commendable, and effective.
But now industry should take the next logical step and comply with the National Association of State Fire Marshals' effort to treat PU foam to provide additional protection from fire. California already requires that PU be treated, and some manufacturers and retailers have taken the standard nationwide. That effort is saving lives, and industry would be wrong to stand in its way.