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Question: What is the proper way to store our media?

Answer: Media should be stored at 35 to 65% relative humidity and a temperature of 50° to 75° F. Keep the product in it’s original packaging (cardboard box and PE bag). The material should be stored with core plugs in place if possible.

Question: Why are lead, cadmium and other metals in PVC?

Answer: They act as a stabilizer. When PVC degrades, if forms hydrochloric acid. Once formed, the acid accelerates the PVC degradation. By including salts of various heavy metals in the PVC compound, when HCL first forms, it reacts preferentially with the heavy metal and is neutralized. Some of the replacement materials for lead and cadmium are actually MORE toxic, e.g., certain "organo-tin" compounds.

Question: Why are phthalates in PVC?

Answer: They are used as plasticizers to make the compounded PVC flexible. Without plasticizers, PVC is quite brittle (remember the old, old 45 records? Maybe you've seen them in flea-markets). The most commonly used phthalate plasticizer for PVC is called di-octyl-phthalate (DOP). Most vinyl banners use it. It is the most commonly used because (a) it works, (b) it has good resistance to UV and other forms of degradation, (c) it does not migrate out of the PVC as rapidly as some alternatives, and (d) it is cheap. It poses some health risk, but the research is subject to debate. There are other phthalates used for plasticizing PVC, e.g., di-methyl-phthalate, di-ethyl-phthalate, but the research on whether these alternatives are really safer is in debate. There are non-phthlalate compounds used as alternative plasticizers, but not in such common practice.

Question: What are the flame spread ratings of your scrim banner?

Answer: These products are made from PVC, laminated to both sides of a polyester woven fabric. This product will burn when exposed to direct flame or sufficient heat to cause ignition. With respect to its “flame spread rating”, and referencing publicly available information (***) on this topic, we note the following from the referenced document: 1. When evaluating building materials for safety, many factors, including ignition temperature, smoke toxicity, and flame-spread are considered. Flame-spread, used to describe the surface burning characteristics of building materials, is one of the most tested fi re performance properties of a material. The best known test for developing this rating is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Test Method E-84, commonly known as the tunnel test. 2. Another popular test method is NFPA 701 Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films from the National Fire Protection Association. This test involves exposing media to flame. If the media self extinguishes under certain conditions, it passes. 3. For the testing of materials, Govmark is a reliable source for information; http://www.govmark.com/flammability-fire-testing/specifictest-lists.php. Sihl Inc. makes no representation or warranty, nor assumes any liability, expressed or implied, regarding the performance of this product, or any other, if subjected to combustion. It is the responsibility of the user of banner media to comply with any and all applicable building code, fire and safety regulations.
(***) “Flame Spread Ratings”, http://dps.state.la.us/sfm/doc_ flamespread.html