Between those health concerns for first responders and the environmental issues giving rise to bans being put into place to reduce plastic waste from bags and straws, it is no wonder that plastic manufacturers are feeling pressure to change their public image.
Among the many things firefighters learn in the field is that plastic burns hot and fast. It is a combustible material and releases toxic smoke and gases when burned.
When fighting fires, we face major health risks due to inhaling these toxic fumes. In large part, because it can make our jobs harder and more dangerous in the event of a fire, cities like New York and San Francisco actually prohibit the use of plastic piping in buildings with higher fire risk, like what we find in many high-rise apartment complexes.
A 2019 International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) statement highlighted that plastic piping is a dangerous material in construction that causes airborne and waterborne contamination. Additionally, the IAFF notes that gasses released from plastics can cause long-term health risks to workers exposed to these products.