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June 2007 Newsletter

Check your training records!

Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK and on the web

  • June 19-20-21, Dangerous Goods by Air - Initial Training
  • August 7, Dangerous Goods by Air - Recurrent Training
  • August 14-15-16, Dangerous Goods by Air - Initial Training
  • Our new On Line Training Program for the Cosmetics Industry - available 24/7.

Our complete 2007 training schedule is posted on this website.

Check your current training records - if you are close to the expiration date make your reservations now for any of our classes throughout the year. We always remind attendees a few days prior to the class.

The requirement for Security Threat Assessment submissions for agents of aircraft operators, foreign air carriers and indirect air carriers has been extended to July 15, 2007.

After the above date aircraft operators and indirect air carriers (air freight forwarders) may not allow unescorted access to air cargo for any individual unless the operator has submitted the information for that individual to TSA.

Every employee of R-A Specialists has successfully passed TSA's Security Threat Assessment.

U.S. Independence Day - July 4, 2007

Are you planning on shooting off some fireworks?

We all know that fireworks can be terribly dangerous when shipped by air or any other mode of transportation. But when it comes to celebrating our national holiday we tend to forget those dangers in transportation by loading up our vehicles with consumer fireworks and then participating in firework displays at family picnics and backyard barbeques.

Your writer has been involved with hazardous materials for more than 41 years and we learned a lot about the dangers of fireworks very early on. As young parents of small children we were very concerned about our children's safety so we never used fireworks and taught our children to avoid any fireworks used by neighbors. Our children are now adults with young children of their own and they follow those same rules with their children.

In our July 2006 Newsletter, we made the following comment:
" Each year at this time newspapers and TV news programs detail numerous tragedies caused by fireworks. Children are particularly vulnerable because they trust their parents and other adults. We can recount many stories of children victimized by thoughtless adults who should have left fireworks displays to the professionals. Children who have had hands or fingers blown off are not unusual stories in newspapers published on July 5th each year. Others have lost their lives due to carelessness or stupidity in handling fireworks.

In our community a couple of years ago, a young father was firing off rocket-type fireworks in order to entertain his family and neighbors at a block party. One rocket never fired and after a couple of minutes he went to inspect the faulty rocket. As he leaned over the firing tube, the rocket roared to life and decapitated the poor soul. After the rocket hit the man, it went wildly into a wooded area behind his home and set fire to trees.
Last week, on a highway in a neighboring community, the county police pulled over a truck with out-of-state license plate for a routine inspection. The truck contained 9000 lbs. (4082 kg.) of fireworks - enough explosives to destroy every building within 300 metres. The truck was not placarded. The driver had false shipping papers. The driver had no HAZMAT training nor a DOT Hazmat Registration.

Please! Avoid a potential tragedy. Don't play with fireworks.

We have been proud members of the National Fire Protection Association since 1985. We are members of the Aviation and Education Sections. NFPA has provided its members with the following link and some serious statistics concerning fireworks. Please heed their advice (and ours) - stay far away from "consumer" fireworks and don't try to create your own show. It might be tragic.

If you are a parent of a young child, please turn on your speakers and click on mms://rodan.implex.net/alliedvaughn/NFPA/Consumer_Fireworks_300k.wmv

Facts & figures

  • In 2004, fireworks started an estimated 1,600 structure fires and 600 vehicle fires which were reported to local fire departments. These fires resulted in 20 civilian injuries and $21 million in direct property damage. There were no reported civilian deaths.
  • In 2003, 100 people were killed in a Rhode Island night club fire ignited by the indoor use of pyrotechnics in a small, crowded room with wall linings that promoted rapid flame spread. The facility had no sprinkler protection.
  • In 2005, 10,800 people were treated at hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. More than half (54%) of 2005 fireworks injuries were burns. Contusions and lacerations were second (29%), and were twice as common as burns when the injury was to any part of the head or face, including the eye. Hands or fingers were the part of the body injured in 30% of the incidents. In 24% of the cases, the eye was involved; other parts of the face or head accounted for 20% of the injuries.
  • The highest risks of fireworks injury are to school-age children. In 2005, nearly half of the people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The highest injury rate relative to population was for ages 10-14 with nearly 3 times the risk of the entire population.
  • Males accounted for nearly 7 out of every 10 (69%) fireworks injuries.
  • Based on the amount of time and quantities in use, fireworks pose a higher risk of fire death than any other consumer product. Although cigarettes are the leading cause of fire death, the risk that someone will die from fire when fireworks are being used is higher relative to the corresponding risk when cigarettes are burning.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for half of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
  • Five states ban the use of fireworks by consumers (DE, MA, NJ, NY, and RI). The other 45 states and the District of Columbia permit some or all consumer fireworks. The American Pyrotechnics Association has compiled a helpful map and directory of state-by-state fireworks control laws.

Source: NFPA’s Fireworks, by John R. Hall, Jr., April 2007

At R-A Specialists there is hardly a day that we do not learn something new.....

What are NPEs? (Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylates)

NPEs are what scientists describe as endocrine disruptors.

There are tentative links to suggest that endocrine disruptors may cause elevated risks of testicular, breast, and ovarian cancers and may explain early puberty in girls and under development of genitals in boys. We found this bit of information from our local newspaper, the Long Island Newsday, when they published an article about sex changes from male to female in flounder fish in Jamaica Bay, which borders JFK Airport in New York. NPEs are used in commercial detergents and cleaning agents and as plasticizers in baby bottles, teethers and toys for infants as well as shampoos, soaps, and hand lotions. The endocrine disruptors probably seep into the water systems from sewer treatment plants and septic systems. Similar observations concerning the fish have been made throughout the world.

European and Canadian Regulators have banned NPEs in laundry detergents, cleaners, and cosmetics. Most major U.S. manufacturers have voluntarily discontinued their use in detergents and cosmetics but you might want to play closer attention to the ingredients of cleansing agents, toothpaste, cosmetics and soaps that are manufactured in less-developed countries.

Speaking of ingredients....

We recently had to be called in by a carrier to remove tubes of toothpaste from a large import shipment because it contained Diethylene Glycol (DEG), the main ingredient in anti-freeze. The DEG was used by the manufacturer to "sweeten" the toothpaste. DEG is forbidden in food, drugs, cosmetics, or drinking water applications. Although it does not meet the definition of a hazardous material because the LD-50 ratings are fairly high, it can cause kidney and liver damage if swallowed, and lung damage if the fluid accidentally gets into the lungs.

Dangerous Goods Advisory Council
29th Annual DGAC Conference and Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition

November 14-16, 2007
La Fonda Hotel
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Join DGAC this November in the beautiful city of Santa Fe, New Mexico for the 29th Annual Conference and Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition.

Check the DGAC Website for additional information at www.dgac.org


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