Fire safety this Halloween
I get it. You were working in your lab late one night and didn’t remind your youngest superhero to watch his cape near open flames. Accidents happen. That’s why it’s so essential to choose costumes labeled “flame retardant” or “fire resistant.”
“Flame retardant” refers to the ability to inhibit fire from spreading. Numerous substances can achieve this effect by disrupting combustion, creating a physical barrier, or releasing water or flame-choking gas. Even synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester have better fire-resisting capabilities than many natural fabrics.
Although federal law prohibits clothing made of rapid-burning fabrics, costumes can still ignite in as little as three seconds. Despite this very real risk, the use of flame retardants has received relentless criticism, with some actively campaigning against the safety feature in Halloween costumes.
Deliberately avoiding flame retardants when children are guaranteed to run around open flames while clad in dinosaur tails and oversized skirts is utterly irresponsible.
It’s important to remember that manufacturers don’t introduce chemicals haphazardly. Compounds like flame retardants were carefully developed and tested because society professed a need for them.
Instead of fearing chemistry this Halloween, embrace your inner mad scientist and appreciate the advancements science brings to holiday safety. And above all, check your children’s costumes for fire safety.
Dr. Joseph Perrone, Center for Accountability in Science
Monitor football coverage
I am really disappointed in The Monitor’s coverage of football. I understand the tremendous coverage of high school football (lots of local readers). I do not understand, however, the total lack of coverage of college and university football. There are alumni from all of the colleges and universities in the United States living in South Texas but there are almost zero articles about this segment of the game. Instead you cram pro-football down our throats daily. Professional football has not earned our respect and is a poor example for our youth. I grew up with the Houston Oilers and used to enjoy all the games; now I will never watch another professional game again.
Edinburg UTRGV president a ‘home run’
Thank you for the fine article on Sunday on UTRGV President Guy Bailey. The story provided a quick and brief, though insightful summary of Dr. Bailey’s persistent tasks, goals, focus and on-going daily commitments and responsibilities. Along with this he shared some of his thoughts on his pursuits and dedications in working to push the UTRGV campuses to achieve his hopes and desires for the school. I know so many others in the Valley share his dreams, and wish him so much success. I thank him for all he is doing. I recognize what he has been entrusted with and to which he shows a wonderful commitment. His job is not an easy or structured ambition or task, but often rather frenetic. Hopefully, he will be able to persuade all of our local municipalities that as it comes to the university, the school needs everyone to rise above local or parochial interests and conflicts. Assuredly, this means economic support, and not only applause from the sidelines.
The UT Systems Board of Regents hit a home run with the selection and appointment of this gentleman.
Luis Muñoz, McAllen