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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Extreme toxicity from combustion products of a fire-retarded polyurethane foam.

The products from nonflaming combustion of wood and a trimethylol-propane-based rigid-urethane foam that was not fire-retarded produced elevated carboxyhemoglobin levels but no abnormal neurological effects. However, when this type of foam contained a reactive phosphate fire retardant, the combustion products caused grand mal seizures and death in rats. The toxic combustion product responsible for the seizures has been identified as 4-ethyl-1-phospha-2,6,7-trioxabicyclo(2.2.2.)octane-1-oxide.[1]


  1. Extreme toxicity from combustion products of a fire-retarded polyurethane foam. Petajan, J.H., Voorhees, K.J., Packham, S.C., Baldwin, R.C., Einhorn, I.N., Grunnet, M.L., Dinger, B.G., Birky, M.M. Science (1975) [Pubmed]
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