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Safety Committee Update

Wednesday, February 22, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Safety Committee Update

Table of Contents
Committee's Mission

ITA Safety Committee Meeting Recap

NFPA 484 & 652 Updates

Testing Methods for Flammable Solids

Second in a Series on Fire Safety Information Posted on the ITA Website

Next ITA Safety Committee Meeting in Amsterdam


Committee's Mission
The mission of the ITA safety committee is to bring awareness to existing published items of safety when handling and working with titanium. According to Robert Lee, ITA Safety Committee Chair and President of Accushape, Inc., every producer, distributor and user must develop their own safety plans to meet the conditions unique to their use of titanium, especially the generation and storage of titanium fines that may present a fire and or explosion hazard.
ITA Safety Committee Meeting Recap
The ITA Safety committee met in Portland, Oregon the first week of January. Elizabeth Buc, president of Fire & Materials Research Lab and Kevin L. Kreitman, retired fire chief, Redding Fire Department, Redding, CA, and a safety consultant with the International Titanium Association's Safety Committee were both in attendance along with a number of ITA members.
NFPA 484 & 652 Updates
The group discussed the most recent updates to the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Standards 652 (Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust) and 484 (Standard for Combustible Metals). Robert Lee, chair of the ITA safety committee, who also serves as president of Accushape Inc., Portland, OR, described NFPA 652 as an overarching document addressing all dust standards, and it's a companion document to be read in conjunction with NFPA 484. NFPA 652 requires dust hazard analysis and puts all stakeholders on the same page with regard to dusts and their attendant hazards. NFPA 652, in addition to providing general requirements for managing combustible dust fire and explosion hazards, directs users to NFPA's industry- or commodity-specific standards.

The NFPA 484 standard is being rewritten and the revised version will address potential dust hazards, additive manufacturing/3D printing, nano powders, and portable vacuums and dust collectors. The NFPA originally had individual documents on metals such as titanium, aluminum, zirconium, and magnesium, but these documents evolved into a single document called NFPA 484, with individual chapters on those and other metals.

A copy of the 652 second draft may be downloaded here. Public comments are open until May 10th on 652, and public inputs received to date regarding the first draft may be viewed here.

NFPA will post a copy of the 484 first draft on March 1, 2017, and public inputs received to date may be viewed here.

Currently, no one with titanium experience is serving on the NFPA 484 committee, and volunteers are needed. Anyone interested in applying as a volunteer for the committee should also nominate an alternate. Both the primary and alternate may attend the committee meetings at the same time. If both attend, the alternate observes discussions and does not vote.

NFPA 652 Committee Volunteer Application Located Here

Testing Methods for Flammable Solids
Approximately a year ago, Dr. Buc and Kevin Kreitman approached the ITA Safety Committee inquiring if it had an interest in pursuing an examination of flammability testing. Dr. Buc and Kevin Kreitman have expressed their concerns with the adequacy of testing methods for flammable solids that originate with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Bob pointed out that the UN document contains recommendations, not mandatory requirements. The UN Manual clearly states in section 1.1.2 "It should be noted that the Manual of Tests and Criteria is not a concise formulation of testing procedures that will unerringly lead to a proper classification of products. It therefore assumes competence on the part of the testing authority and leaves responsibility for classification with them. The competent authority (i.e. US DOT, NFPA, EPA, OSHA) has the discretion to dispense with certain tests, to vary the details of tests, and to require additional tests when this is justified to obtain a reliable and realistic assessment of the hazard of a product. In some cases, a small scale screening procedure may be used to decide whether or not it is necessary to perform larger scale classification tests."

Bob emphasized that what appears to have happened with respect to flammable solids of concern to ITA members, is that the UN "recommendations" have become legally required by the adoption of the UN Section by various regulatory authorities. The concern of this committee and of Kevin Kreitman and Dr Buc is that the basic UN recommendations for identifying flammable solids are not well defined, not consistently reproducible which create the potential for false positives, false negatives, conflicting and disputed test results. There is concern and evidence that flammable metals are very different than organic flammable solids therefore different testing methods are needed to address safety issues.

Bob indicated that the objective of the ITA safety committee effort is to find more reliable science based testing methods that can be consistently applied by all parties and entities such that safe handling of titanium will be enhanced. There is no desire to avoid regulatory requirements or to reduce the requirements. The titanium industry has expanded and changed in recent years. It is important that testing methods be accurate, current and reflect the most current practices, products and conditions in the industry.

The consensus of the safety committee is we have enough data and information to prepare a technical paper describing the limitations of the current test methods, suggested improvements in test methods and a testing program to validate the methods. Before public presentation, a draft of the technical report will be presented to the Safety committee and cognizant regulatory representatives for comment and input.
Second in a Series on Fire Safety Information
Posted on the ITA Website
The International Titanium Association's (ITA) Safety Committee, through a series of broadcast emails, will be providing information to ITA members and other interested parties regarding information on fire safety as it relates to companies in the titanium industry. This is the second email notice in the series.

The purpose of this email series is to highlight fire safety material currently posted on the ITA's website ( The email series also is part of the ITA's ongoing efforts to reach out and serve the needs of members and maintain a dialogue on important industry and regulatory topics.

For this second installment in the series, the ITA's safety resources website page makes reference to detailed instructions for emergency response found in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 484 Standard for Combustible Metal, Chapter 6. Key issues are spelled out in Section 170 of the NFPA's Emergency Response Guide (ERG). Producers, users of titanium and first responders should consider the guidance described in those documents. Primary considerations for emergency response can be summarized as follows:

Water in contact with molten titanium will result in violent steam and hydrogen explosions and reactions. Water will disassociate to its base compounds of hydrogen and oxygen. You are potentially adding the equivalent of 43 gallons of gasoline for every gallon of water applied to a titanium fire. CO2 will disassociate to its base compounds and create reactions. Clean agents such HFC 227ea, FK-5-1-12, HFC-125 are not effective and may result in hazardous byproducts and exposures by decomposition. Large fires are impossible to extinguish. Isolate the burning titanium material as much as possible, if it can be done safely. Protection of exposures with water streams can be considered, if adequate review is conducted and adequate drainage is present to ensure contact of water with the burning titanium will not occur. Let the fire burn out naturally to minimize the hazards to personnel and loss to exposures.

The NFPA's 484 Standard for Combustible Metal is an important document for manufactures and end users of titanium. This is an industry standard often cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are other standards may also be applicable. For example, the NFPA 1 Fire Code, and NFPA 5000 Building Code include additional regulations and potential construction requirements regarding titanium, based on hazardous materials and control area maximum quantities. It's important to determine the proper fire and building codes of a given jurisdiction and to follow the appropriate codes.

Access to NFPA codes can be obtained from the main website ( You do not have to be an NFPA member to access the document page or view the document online. It's also possible to purchase printed and downloaded copies of the individual codes and standards, or obtain access to all the documents through NFPA's online subscription or hard copy services. NFPA's codes, standards, recommended practices, and guides are developed through a consensus standards development process approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Next ITA Safety Committee Meeting in Amsterdam
All ITA Members are invited and encouraged to participate on committees. The ITA adheres to strict antitrust guidelines and abides by a separate resolution in which any conversation related to price, capacity or market forecasts are not permitted at any ITA gathering. Please contact Jennifer Simpson if you are interested in becoming a Member of the ITA or joining any ITA Committees. The next safety committee will be held Wednesday, May 17th in Amsterdam. Please contact the ITA if you would like to participate.
The safety information provided is not intended to replace applicable laws and regulations already in effect and that are currently being enforced by federal, state, and other rule-making authorities but should be read as helpful information for members of the International Titanium Association (ITA) for the reasonable and effective implementation of safety standards already in existence. ITA has not endeavored to promulgate safety standards or analyze the efficacy of existing standards. The ITA does not have the power to enforce and ensure industry-wide compliance with the information contained herein; therefore, in no event will ITA be held liable for any damages whatsoever, including but not limited to damages to person or property from any use of the following ITA information. The following information should not be relied upon for any personal or safety decisions, and the user is advised to consult with the appropriate safety professional and/or governmental body for specific advice regarding the applicability, implementation, and enforcement of any information contained herein as to any particular situation. ITA makes no representation that it has located and listed all such regulatory agencies that may be applicable. Each regulatory agency and published regulations list many references, cross references and sources.

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