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Was Carbon Black a Factor in New Jersey Ink Plant Explosion?

EMSL Analytical offers combustible dust testing solutions to help prevent workplace injuries, deaths, and property destruction.


Cinnaminson, NJ, October 19, 2012
Last month, an explosion and fire at a manufacturing facility injured seven workers.  The event took place in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at plant that produces black newspaper ink.  The workers were injured when a carbon compound used at the plant ignited. 
Following the explosion, investigators from the Chemical Safety Board and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began looking into the cause.  Dust is reportedly being collected from the plant to try and determine the root fuel source of the explosion and fire.
One possible culprit being examined is carbon black.  Carbon black is the general term used to describe a powdery commercial form of carbon.  It is also known as Lamp black, Furnace black, Thermal black, and Channel black.  Carbon black is used by industry to strengthen and color rubber. It is also used to color inks, coatings, plastics and leather, and to insulate electrical equipment.  In confined spaces, carbon black is considered to be a potential combustible dust hazard.
There are many types of dusts used or created during manufacturing processes that can cause a combustible dust hazard.  Finely dispersed carbon black particles are no exception.
EMSL Analytical, one of the leading combustible dust testing laboratories in North America, provides testing services to help determine combustible dust hazards from carbon black and other materials.  “Carbon black, which is used in many manufacturing processes, is a potential combustible dust hazard,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.  “In order to prevent injuries, deaths, and the destruction of property, combustible dust testing should be performed in industries that use and create materials that are considered combustible dust hazards.  EMSL has the expertise and advanced testing equipment to offer this important service.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about carbon black hazards that can be viewed at:
To learn more about combustible dust testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email .
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.



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