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Explosion, Flash Fires, and Deaths Caused by Combustible Dust Were Preventable, Says Federal Panel

EMSL Analytical offers combustible dust analysis and dedicated customer service for companies


Management at a Tennessee metal powders factory knew about the dangers of combustible dust before three accidents there killed five workers and injured three, concluded the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) last week.
Airborne iron powder ignited and caused flash fires in a Hoeganaes Corp. plant in Gallatin, TN in January and March 2011. In May, hydrogen leaking from a corroded pipe exploded, ignited the combustible dust, and created a fireball in the air.
The CSB found that Hoeganaes Corp. was aware that the combustible dust in its plant posed a threat to its workers, but failed to implement its scheduled plan of improvements. Instead the company relied on insufficient measures to protect workers, such as flame-resistant clothing. Unfortunately, this was not enough to save some from injury and death.
Federal figures show that deadly explosions from finely powdered food, wood, metals and chemicals happen each year in the U.S., killing and maiming multiple workers.
“EMSL Analytical’s testing services can help identify conditions that could lead to a preventable combustible dust explosion,” states Matthew Maki, Sales Account Representative at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “We provide analytical expertise coupled with industry leading customer service, working with our clients to tailor each testing project to their unique needs.”
For more information on EMSL’s combustible dust testing services, please contact Matthew Maki at (856) 303-2570, email, or visit
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.


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