Aerosol cans must be disposed of properly as they are usually able to absorb compressed liquids or gases, posing a risk to humans and the environment. In order to be exempted from the rules on hazardous waste, aerosol cans should be handled by waste management professionals. The boxes must be depressurized and processed before they can be recycled for scrap. Therefore, aerosol containers containing extremely hazardous waste should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Due to the unique properties of aerosols, they cannot be prepared for proper disposal by triple rinsing with solvents that can remove hazardous chemical residues like other types of containers. Whether or not an aerosol can is prepared for scrap metal, hazardous waste residues disposed of in the box are still subject to hazardous waste regulations, which is another good reason to use laboratory packaging for proper aerosol can disposal. In tomorrow`s guide, we look at options for disposing of aerosol cans. The most important thing to remember about aerosol cans in the workplace is to always treat them as you would treat other dangerous goods. Read safety data sheets (SDS) and carry out a risk assessment before introducing them into the workplace for the first time. Then train your employees not to leave them on workbenches, in vehicles or near factories and machines where they are sensitive to heat and ignition sources. Please don`t do that! The use of a screwdriver as a puncture device for aerosol cans is dangerous for several reasons. Many workplace accidents involving aerosols occur when boxes are left in the sun, in a car, or next to a hot machine. Two Australian workers were injured while trying to use a spray paint can that had been left in the sun.
When one of the workers shook the box, it exploded in his hand. Other workers suffered burns and shrapnel from detonating cooking oil cans, adhesives and electrical contact cleaner. Finally, there is a work-related health risk associated with using a screwdriver to pierce an aerosol can. There is no filter source to prevent the release of the remaining product and propellant directly into the atmosphere. This can expose workers to hazardous or toxic materials. A worker carrying unopened cartons of aerosol whipped cream was seriously injured when a can burst in the can, hitting him in the face. Although it is impossible to know what caused the metal cartridge to be fired into a projectile, commercial warehouses and industrial construction sites are rarely stable, temperature-controlled environments. Aerosol cans (or loose cartons) can easily be knocked over, dropped or hit by passing machines and vehicles. possibly leave the contents (active substances, blowing agents and solvents) in a volatile state. A person who pierces an aerosol can with a screwdriver basically ignores all safety precautions. The steel head of the screwdriver generates frictional heat against the steel or aluminum body of the box. If it makes sparks, it can potentially ignite the thruster if it depressurizes through the hole.
Therefore, only non-sparking or spark-resistant tools should be used to safely pierce aerosol cans. Workers handling aerosol cans should be aware of the general hazards of aerosol cans and the hazards associated with specific ingredients. You must follow proper storage and disposal procedures, including: Despite its small size, each aerosol can actually contain a complex ecosystem, which is why many aerosol cans must be shaken before they can be used. When shaking the can, the active substance is mixed with the blowing agent and solvent. But it is also the combination of each of the five elements that increases the risks and dangers of doses. All these things are released when the box explodes. We will then look at them. Making sure your workplace is operating legally and safely isn`t accidental or accidental – for more information on handling aerosols and other dangerous goods in the workplace, download our free eBook Aerosol Safety and Storage. We explain your legal obligations when handling and storing aerosol cans in clear and concise English and use many concrete examples so that you can trace the contents back to your own workplace. Download and read it today. Lack of proper grounding is another hazard.
Flammable liquids shall not be dispensed without an electrical connection of the nozzle and the receiving container. Static sparks are caused by a difference in electrical charge between one container and another. OSHA 1926.449 specifies the use of intrinsically safe devices. This is true wherever there is a possibility of mixing combustible vapours with air. Using a screwdriver to pierce an aerosol can makes it impossible to meet all these requirements. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for flammable liquids, a flammable aerosol is any non-refillable container containing a flammable gas compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure with a release device that ejects the contents as suspended particles and emits foam, paste, powder, a liquid or gas. The definition does not include flammable components that are pyrophoric, self-heating or water-reactive chemicals. Combustible aerosols are Class 1 liquids (of four classes) that have a flash point of less than 73.4°F and a boiling point of 95°F or less. Aerosol containers may be legally stored in a Class 3 flammable liquid cabinet, provided that the cabinet is adequately protected against projectiles. However, it is always better to store aerosol cans in a special aerosol cage, as they are properly ventilated. In short, an aerosol can is a stand-alone dosing system in which a substance is stored in a small metal can and extracted as a fine mist, spray or foam. This mini dosing system consists of five key elements that work together to provide a consistent product.
Let`s take a closer look at each of them. If you are an individual or household with a small number of cans that you need to get rid of, there are almost always local ways to properly handle aerosol cans. Check with the nearest municipal transfer center or landfill, as they should regularly include household hazardous waste collections that you can properly dispose of using common chemicals such as paint, cleaning products, and spray cans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the United States alone, manufacturing, chemical and automotive plants account for more than 1.6 billion empty aerosol cans per year. These are acres and acres of cans that all parties must handle responsibly. Pressurized canisters cannot simply be disposed of in landfills with disastrous consequences for the environment. Proper aerosol disposal can be challenging, but it saves valuable landfill space and reduces hazardous waste that becomes an environmental concern for communities. Aerosol can disposal begins with generators identifying the correct way to empty boxes or using boxes with hazardous waste service lab bags to collect and dispose of cans. Hazardous waste disposal services can safely pierce aerosol cans to depressurize them.
Once the cans are depressurized, waste disposal companies can remove the residual contents and, more importantly, filter volatile organic compound emissions so that the steel cans can be recycled as scrap metal. There are two materials in an aerosol can. In the first place is the product itself, such as paint, detergents, etc. Second, it is the blowing agent (usually butane or propane) that provides the pressure needed to spray the product. Often, both materials can be flammable and dangerous. OSHA CFR 1910.1200 defines combustible aerosols as Category 1 flammable liquids. Reducing the use of aerosol cans is an effective way to ensure that hazardous waste from boxes does not end up in landfills and pose environmental risks to individuals and communities. The EPA`s WasteWise program encourages businesses, institutions, and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices by reducing certain industrial wastes, such as aerosol cans. Reducing the use of aerosol cans is an important first step, but proper disposal of aerosol cans is crucial for everyone.