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Article
June 1963

PLASTIC SPECTACLE FRAMES AND FIRE HAZARDS-Reply

Author Affiliations

1406 Heyburn Bldg Louisville 2, Ky

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;69(6):837-838. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960040843032

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Abstract

The foregoing letter was referred to Dr. Arthur H. Keeney for reply.

To the Editor:  —The role of flammability in spectacle frames has been similar to that of camera film several decades ago. Both industries relied heavily on cellulose nitrate in earlier years. In the late 1920's, film producers became increasingly alarmed by the fire and explosion problem with cellulose nitrate film and, therefore, changed to cellulose acetate. The latter will burn or smolder on contact with household matches but is generally melted rather than ignited by cigarette heat. Cellulose nitrate, however, is easily ignited by match or cigarette and bursts into strong flames, with spitting and gas generation, which propels fire several inches from the site of combustion.This problem is intensified in cellulose nitrate frames which have been worn for several years and become "oil-soaked" with skin and hair secretions. Because of fire dangers, the Optical Manufacturers Association

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