LONDON, Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Flame-retardants are compounds added to or applied in surface treatment of potentially flammable materials, including textiles and plastics. They inhibit, delay production of, or suppress flames to curb the spreading of fire. The North American market for flame-retardant chemicals is expected to grow at a healthy pace of 5.4% from $1.7 billion in 2013 to over $2.3 billion during the forecast period. North America is the second largest global market for flame-retardants occupying 24% of the global market share.
Flame-retardants can be divided by their end use application in the sectors: electronic & electrical appliances, construction, wire & cable, automotives, textiles and others. The largest two sectors are construction and electronic & electrical appliances, together occupying more than 45% of the total market. Electronic & electrical appliances along with wire & cable are the fastest growing markets; this growth can be credited to a rise in demand for global consumer electronics goods. The emergence of stringent fire safety standards and legislations in North America acts as a growth driver for the use of flame-retardants.
By composition, the major flame-retardants in the North American market are- aluminium hydroxide, halogenated compounds, organophosphorus, nitrogen based compounds, inorganic compounds and other organic compounds like nanocomposites and expandable graphite. Aluminium hydroxide is the most widely used and a fast growing sector due to its low adverse health effects, effectiveness as a smoke suppressant. Halogenated flame-retardants, which occupy about a major part of the North American market share, are facing reduced dependence and a gradual phasing out due to their unfavorable health effects and emergence of alternative raw materials including metal hydroxides. In the US, the EPA probes the health and environmental effects of several chemicals but lacks sufficient power to ban them. However, most harmful chemicals have been restricted through legislations or voluntarily phased out by manufacturers due to health concerns.
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