Fashion on Fire: Flammable Clothing Hazards
What do gasoline, nail polish remover, and your new silk pajamas have in common? They are all highly flammable!
Don’t panic just yet. When an item or material is flammable, that doesn’t mean it’s going to randomly and spontaneously burst into flames. It simply means that it can easily catch on fire when exposed to flames. Plenty of everyday household and cooking items are flammable, including:
- Liquid nail polish
- Nail polish remover
- Bug repellant
- Body sprays
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand sanitizer
It’s very possible that you have something flammable sitting on your desk or in your room right now! As long as you aren’t lighting matches, that hand sanitizer or hairspray probably doesn’t pose a huge threat. But the idea of flammable clothes? That’s a little bit scarier.
The fabric in your clothing is probably more flammable than you think. The biggest culprits are cotton, linen, and silk, because they are the most likely to contain natural, untreated fibers. Since items made out of cotton, linen, and silk tend to be light-weight and loose-fitting, they are also more likely to come into contact with an open flame, like a candle or fireplace. Silk is considered to be the most flammable of the three, since it often contains additional dyes. Other fabrics, including nylon and polyester, are less likely to catch on fire, but melt once ignited, which can cause severe, localized burns.
All fabric has the potential to catch on fire if exposed to flames, but since certain fabrics are more likely to cause harm, there are regulations in place to ensure that these flammable fabrics are being manufactured safely and responsibility. The Flammable Fabrics Act, which was passed in 1953, prohibits “the introduction or movement in interstate commerce of articles of wearing apparel and fabrics, which are so highly flammable as to be dangerous when worn by individuals and for other purposes.”
When a company sells a product that does not meet the standards of the Flammable Fabrics Act, they should protect their consumers by issuing a recall. Even if it was purely an accident that their product does not meet flammability standards, they still have a responsibility to look out for their buyers.
To stay on top of recalls, follow our blog for our monthly #RecallRoundup posts, where we keep you updated on important consumer safety news.
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