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Combustible Dust Hazards at Grain Handling & Storage Facilities

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


Cinnaminson, NJ, January 7, 2013
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there have been over 500 explosions in grain handling facilities across the United States during the past 35 years.  More than 180 people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured.
The grain handling and storage industry is at a high risk of dust explosions due to large amount of grain dusts associated with these types of operations.  According to OSHA, “Grain dust is highly combustible and can burn or explode if enough becomes airborne or accumulates on a surface and finds an ignition source (such as hot bearing, overheated motor, misaligned conveyor belt, welding, cutting, and brazing). OSHA standards require that both grain dust and ignition sources must be controlled in grain elevators to prevent these often deadly explosions.”
Combustible dusts are fine particles that present an explosion hazard when suspended in air under certain conditions. A dust explosion can be catastrophic and cause employee deaths, injuries, and the destruction of entire buildings.
Many materials, including grain dusts, can result in a combustible dust hazard.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration list a number of agricultural materials that can result in this type of explosion.  In addition to grain dusts, OSHA lists agricultural products and dusts from everything from egg whites and sugar to spice dusts and garlic powder.
One company that has been helping to prevent dust explosions by offering combustible dust testing services is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “Many types of agricultural products can result in a combustible dust hazards under certain conditions,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.  “Combustible dust explosions can be deadly.  One key component to preventing these explosions is combustible dust testing and EMSL has the instrumentation and world renowned scientists to provide this critical service.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about combustible dust hazards that can be seen 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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