A citation that may be of use is an accident investigation done by Philip A. Walter, CHO, Denison University, in the spring of 1995. Two bottles of 2-methylbutane (isopentane) failed cataclysmically in their waste storage area. One sentence reads, “The pattern of the glass fragments indicated the explosion was great enough to send pieces as far as four feet from where the bottle was stored.” I have a copy of the report but not the complete citation.
Identify risks and use engineering controls to eliminate them.
George C. Walton, CHMM
Reactives Management Corporation
1025 Executive Blvd., Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
I am currently pulling together guidelines on the usage of isopentane for tissue preservation at our university, but there is contention on the proper storage of the chemical. Safety data sheets from different manufacturers vary in their storage recommendations. Here are the top three:
· Recommended storage temperatures of 2-8°C in an explosion proof refrigerator,
· Store in a cool, flammables-rated lab refrigerator,
· Store in a well ventilated flammables cabinet at room temperature.
I even stumbled upon the same question from histology group servers, and saw wildly different answers without a consensus.
Due to the high volatility and high flammability of isopentane, and the historical data that it has caused explosions in refrigerators, does anyone have a preferred set of guidelines for the storage of small quantities of isopentane?
G. Benjamin Cieslinski, EH&S Manager
Tulane University, Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS)
Mailing: 1430 Tulane Avenue #8480, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699
Office: 1440 Canal St. Suite 1156
Direct: (504) 865.5307
Cell: (504) 491.5122
For non-emergency OEHS assistance, please go to OEHS Help Desk
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