You may not know it, but halogens are used every day. Fluoride is found in most toothpaste, chlorine is used to keep pools clean and iodine is found in medicine cabinets everywhere. Beside the simple things we use them for; there are also several other incredible things for which halogens are useful, including cable jackets as fire resistance using PVC.
However these chemicals can cause health problems. Although halogen compounds work to keep important components from catching fire, they may release hazardous gasses if they reach volatile temperatures. Carcinogenic gasses such as Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons PAHS and dioxins are all dangerous chemicals which can be produced from the ignition of the cables, not only this, but if in contact with water, they can condense into dangerous caustic acids, for example hydrochloric acid. However, there is an alternative; Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables (LSZH).
As you may have deduced from the name, these cables are ideal because they only produce a very small amount of smoke when igniting, and no toxic gasses which is so much safer than the hazardous traditional method. LSZH also perfectly complies with European and North American safety and environmental regulations. LSZH are widely used in poorly ventilated areas, such as aircraft or railcars, where poisonous gas would be most fatal. LSZH is becoming more and more widely used and is now even a requirement in places where people’s lives are most at risk of such a thing. Aside from this, LSZH cables are also often lighter, so the overall weight of cable systems is reduced, and because they don’t release dangerous chemicals, they also cause less harm to the environment. Overall LSZH is the superior alternative.