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Multiple Fatalities and Worker Injuries After Possible Combustible Dust Explosion

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

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

In late May, a tragic explosion at a corn mill in Wisconsin took the lives of three workers and injured many more. The explosion also caused massive damage to the plant, turning large portions of it into rubble.

While the exact cause of the explosion is not yet known and is being investigated, a likely culprit is combustible dust. In fact, the plant was cited back in 2011 for failure to take the necessary precautions against dust explosions according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records.

Corn and other agricultural products can cause combustible dusts hazards when processed into fine particles. If these particles are suspended in air under certain conditions, they could cause an explosion if there is an ignition source.

OSHA lists a number of industries at risk for combustible dust explosion hazards, which include agriculture, chemicals, food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, fertilizer, tobacco, plastics, wood, forest, paper, pulp, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, tire and rubber manufacturing, dyes, coal, metal processing (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium and zinc), recycling operations, and fossil fuel power generation (coal). 

“Dust explosions are often catastrophic, resulting in employee deaths, injuries and the destruction of buildings,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To prevent a build-up of combustible dust, employees must be trained to recognize combustible dust hazards and how to prevent the buildup of these dusts. Indoor environmental testing is also a key component of safety programs to identify potential dangers to avert these types of tragedies.”

To prevent combustible dust explosions, employee injuries, deaths and costly OSHA fines, EMSL provides combustible dust testing services utilizing advanced instrumentation and world renowned scientists.  They have also sponsored an online video about combustible dust hazards that can be seen at:

To learn more about combustible dust or other environmental and occupational testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 40 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.


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