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Combustible Dust: Awareness of Hazards Associated with Powder and Flake Products

Under certain handling/processing conditions (e.g., when dusts are suspended in air, and/or are allowed to accumulate on flat surfaces), Hexion’s solid, powder, and flake products may present a fire/explosion hazard. We expect our customers that use our solid, powder, and flake products to comply with all laws, regulations, and consensus standards applicable to the safe use of those products. 

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) has a health and safety resource page devoted to combustible dust and has implemented a National Emphasis Program directed at inspecting facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts. Information on OSHA Directive CPL 03-00-008 can be found at

The National Fire Protection Agency (“NFPA”) Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust (NFPA 652) requires a combustible dust hazard assessment be conducted for all facilities and operations that manufacture, process, blend, convey, repackage, generate or handle combustible dust or combustible particulate solids.  To minimize the serious hazards presented by combustible/explosive dust, safe handling of solid, powder and flake products requires a valid “Basis of Safety” as explained in detail in NFPA 652 and NFPA 654 (Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids). Furthermore, dust control measures must incorporate good industrial hygiene (“IH”) practices, safe housekeeping practices, and proper storage. 

Additional resources and references include the European Directive ATEX 137, which sets out legal obligations in the workplace (such as risk assessments and zoning of areas) where explosive atmospheres could be formed, and the HSE (United Kingdom) publication HSG103 Safe Handling of Combustible Dusts: Precautions Against Explosions

Hexion emphasizes workplace safety and good IH practices in its Safety Data Sheets (“SDSs”) and labels. We urge you to read and understand the information set forth in our SDSs. 

To supplement our labels and SDSs, we have made available generic, common sense guidance around good housekeeping practices to minimize dust accumulations that could lead to secondary dust explosions. You can download a copy of that housekeeping brochure on the right-hand side of the page. Additionally, as part of our commitment to Responsible Chemistry, Hexion has prepared informative safe handling guidance brochures intended as a reference for customers and users of our powder and flake products, but not to take the place of a combustible dust hazard assessment or the recommendations arising out of such assessment.  To request a copy of the applicable safe handling guide for the Hexion products you use, please complete the request form linked on the right-hand side of the page.

Please ensure your understanding of the standards and the existence of an effective combustible dust program to manage dust hazards at your facilities.  If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or send your request to us using the button to the right. We appreciate your continued interest in Hexion’s products.

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