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Mon, 2 Apr 2012 12:19:38 EST Recently, a three-story warehouse in Enfield, Connecticut burst into flames. Fire investigators have determined that sawdust was likely ignited by a piece of hot metal which made its way to the dust house at the manufacturing plant.
Wood dust is a common product and byproduct of many manufacturing processes across the nation. Wood dust is easily ignited when it becomes airborne and is exposed to an ignition source. Overheated motors, electrical sparks and malfunctioning equipment can all provide an ignition source which can quickly lead to fatal explosions and devastating fires.
In addition to the fire and explosion hazards associated with wood dust, it can also be a health hazard to employees. In 2009, wood dust was added by the State of California to their Proposition List 65 as a substance known by California to cause cancer. Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.
'In addition to combustible dust hazards associated with wood dust, exposure can cause health effects including dermatitis and allergic respiratory reactions,' reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. 'Natural chemicals found in wood dust can create all types of allergic reactions. Some wood dusts may also contain various biological and chemical contaminants. These may include naturally occurring molds and potentially toxic chemicals, such as arsenic, that have been applied to wood materials to preserve the material. At EMSL Analytical, the laboratory professionals can not only assist with cases involving combustible dust issues, but also identify microbial and chemical contaminants and help with worker exposure monitoring,' he continued.
To learn more about combustible dust testing services or industrial hygiene and health and safety issues related to exposure to wood dusts, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675, or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
Recently, a three-story warehouse in Enfield, Connecticut burst into flames. Fire investigators have determined that sawdust was likely ignited by a piece of hot metal which made its way to the dust house at the manufacturing plant.