Hazard Data for Chemicals Used in Pyrotechnics

K.L. and B.J. Kosanke

In recent months, the authors have received a surprising number of requests for sources of chemical hazard information. Perhaps this is a consequence of the industry’s increasing concern for health and safety. Whatever the reason for the requests for information, the authors have prepared this article to assist those needing to locate reliable and practical hazardous chemical information.

Perhaps the most commonly used reference text on chemical hazards is the HazardousChemicals Desk Reference (HCDR) by Sax and Lewis; published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. If this is the only reference consulted in evaluating potential chemical hazards, a very strong word of caution is warranted. The HCDR assigns  a "Hazard Rating" to each of the approximately 5000 chemicals listed. However, these ratings are based exclusively on chemical toxicity. Often included in the discussion about each chemical is some information on reactivity and flammability. Unfortunately, that information is quite general in terms of hazard level (e.g., "moderate fire hazard" or "slight explosion hazard") and it is not considered at all in assigning the overall hazard rating to the chemical. Thus, the first word of caution is that users of the HCDR must not assume that its hazard ratings apply to anything more than chemical toxicity.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 2, (1990-1992), pp 25-28

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