The dangers of cellulose nitrate film

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This leaflet is for private individuals and voluntary groups who have or find old film in domestic or other non-workplace premises.

Cellulose nitrate film is extremely dangerous. It catches fire very easily and one alight is difficult to put out.

This leaflet explains:

  • why cellulose nitrate film is hazardous
  • how to identify cellulose nitrate films and negatives
  • how to recognise signs of decomposition
  • what to do if you have cellulose nitrate film

It also lists contact points for further advice and information.

This leaflet has been revised in line with the revocation of celluloid legislation April 2013.

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Updated: 2021-03-23