Low-Smoke Zero-Halogen Compounds
Low-Smoke Zero-Halogen (LSZH or LSOH) is a type of plastic used in the wire and cable industry for cable jacketing. LSOH cable jacketing is custom compounded to produce minimal smoke and low toxicity when exposed to fire.
Most network cables (CAT5, CAT6, etc.) are insulated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, or thermoplastic urethane (TPU). In a fire, halogen-containing plastic releases hydrogen chloride, a poisonous gas that forms hydrochloric acid when it comes in contact with H2O. Low-smoke zero-halogen cables do not produce this toxic combination of gas, acid, and smoke when exposed to flame.
Since no harmful toxins are actually released, LSOH material is usually used in poorly ventilated areas such as plenum, aircraft, rail cars, and tunnels in which smoke is likely to both build up and come into contact with people. Low-smoke zero-halogen material is becoming very popular and can be required when the safety of people and equipment is critical. Low-smoke zero-halogen compound also has the added benefit of complying with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive and similar North American safety and environmental standards.