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A fire or explosion can result in the contamination by smoke of facilities, equipment and stock, not only at the incident premises, but also at neighbouring sites...

ASSESSMENT AND QUANTIFICATION OF CONTAMINATION BY SMOKE DEPOSITS

Smoke produced during a fire can spread well beyond the area that is directly affected by the fire itself; often entering neighbouring premises. Smoke contains the airborne products of combustion in the solid, liquid and gaseous states. The composition of smoke is varied and often complex, depending on the nature of the fire, but typical constituents include: soot, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s), halides (such as chloride), carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and water vapour. Many constituents of smoke settle on, condense on or are adsorbed by solids with which they make contact.

MICROBIOLOGICAL GROWTH AND SPOILAGE

Tops popping off bottles, discolouration or turbidity of liquid products, filter blockages, gauge errors, self-heating of stored produce and unaccounted for pipe or tank perforations: these are just some of the effects of microbes when suitable conditions arise for them to grow and multiply. These undesirable effects are besides any potential health risks that can occur if pathogenic organisms also become established and people become exposed to them.

THE CARRIAGE AND POTENTIAL HAZARDS OF NPK FERTILIZERS

Current global nitrogen fertilizer use is of the order of 100 million tonnes per annum, a proportion of which is transported by sea. Because plants require nutrients other than nitrogen, however, a range of compound or complex fertilizer formulations have been developed which contain more than one of the three main plant nutrients:

MAJOR REVISION TO BC CODE SCHEDULE FOR THE CARRIAGE OF THE DIRECT REDUCED IRON (DRI) AND DERIVATIVES BY SEA

DRI is produced by passing hot reducing gases such as hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide over iron ore (oxide), which is usually in the form of pellets or lumps. Although the process is conducted at high temperatures, these are still substantially below the melting point of iron.

DRI BY ANY OTHER NAME

Operators of bulk fleets will be aware of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) and of the appropriate precautions that must be taken to ensure its safe carriage by sea.  However, we are aware of a number of shippers who are offering a material for bulk shipment that is clearly a DRI product, but is claimed to be safe for bulk carriage by sea without the usual precautions.  However, we are also aware of two explosions, and a potential explosion, in the past year that have occurred on vessels that were carrying this cargo.

MARINE COLLISIONS AND THE FORENSIC EXAMINATION OF PAINT SAMPLES

There are instances where a vessel is alleged to have collided with a fixed or moving object and where the witness evidence, or lack of it, requires support by an examination of the physical evidence. In such cases the physical evidence most often relied upon is that provided by a comparison of paint samples taken from the vessel and the object with which it is alleged to have collided. As forensic chemists many of our consultants have a detailed knowledge of paint comparisons including their chemical analysis, largely through dealing with vehicle accident work for the police, such as in pedestrian hit-and-run cases.