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Science
Chemistry
Air Pollution
Plastics and Polymers

Why is dangerous to burn polymers?

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November 11, 2014 3:11PM

It is dangerous because of the dangerous gases that form from polymers in the burning process. When polymers such as plastics are burned carbon containing gases are released. During the burning process, the carbon combines with oxygen present in the atmosphere & forms oxides of carbon.

These gases have been linked global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, acid rain,etc. They create harmful effects on our ecosystem.

It depends what type of polymer it is - if you're talking about polyethylene or polypropylene for example, the only gases you will generate are carbon dioxide and water vapour. These are not "dangerous" - yes, they are linked to climate change, but then you would get exactly the same gases by buring paper or wood.