Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Preliminary Screening Procedures and Criteria for Replacements for Halons 1211 and 1301 (NIST TN 1278)



Richard G. Gann, J D. Barnes, S Davis, J S. Harris, Richard H. Harris Jr., J T. Herron, Barbara C. Levin, F I. Mopsik, Kathy A. Notarianni, Marc R. Nyden, M Paabo, Richard E. Ricker


The current halogenated fire suppressants, halons 1301 and 1211, are among the compounds whose production is restricted by the Montreal Protocol of 1987. The objective of this project is to facilitate identification of alternative chemicals by developing quick, inexpensive screening procedures for characterizing nine critical properties: fire suppression efficiency, ozone depletion potential, global warming potential, residue level, toxicity, long-term storage stability, metals corrosion, electrical conductivity, and compatibility with plastics. We have construced and exercised such a series of tests that can be used to make decisions to pursue particular chemicals further. The procedures are straightforward to conduct, require about 5 moles of chemical, and can be performed in about 8 days for less than $15k. Lower costs would result for concurrent testing of many chemicals. The results are reported in classes that relate to the performance of halons 1211 and 1301. Examples of testing sequences are provided. Interpretation of the results requires expert judgment since weak performance in a test may not be the basis for rejecting a chemical. These methods and performance classes have been developed for screening purposes only and should not be used for final selection, procurement or regulation without more extensive evaluation.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1278
Report Number


halon 1211, halon 1301, electrical resistivity, corrosion, residues, compatibility, plastics, fire suppression, halons, ozone, storage stability, toxicity


Gann, R. , Barnes, J. , Davis, S. , Harris, J. , Harris, R. , Herron, J. , Levin, B. , Mopsik, F. , Notarianni, K. , Nyden, M. , Paabo, M. and Ricker, R. (1990), Preliminary Screening Procedures and Criteria for Replacements for Halons 1211 and 1301 (NIST TN 1278), Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created August 1, 1990, Updated November 10, 2018