17 April, 2021

Highly Inflammable

A study dispels the myth that cotton is less prone to fire

Highly Inflammable

IF you thought cotton was safer than synthetic, think again. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, have dispelled the myth that it is safer to wear cotton saris while cooking and that cotton garments are less prone to fire. After a two-year WHO-sponsored study, they have concluded that cotton saris, in particular, "catch fire easily and the flames engulf the whole body in a matter of seconds" whereas the flames on synthetic saris are "smaller and the whole sari does not catch fire everytime".

This does not mean that synthetics are safer near a fire, but that cotton, too, is highly unsafe. The latest scientific advice is to avoid wearing 'any' loose-fitting clothes as also those made from thin fabric, whenever near an open flame. On the other hand, tight-fit-ting clothes and those made from dense fabrics "catch fire with less difficulty" and burn slower. Therefore, it is hazardous to wear either a sari, salwar kameez or nightie—regardless of the fabric they are made of—while cooking, but shirts and trousers and...

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