Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for May, 2022

What does HAZMAT mean?

May 24th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

HAZMAT is an abbreviation for “hazardous materials”—substances in quantities, or forms, that may pose a reasonable risk to health, property, or the environment. HAZMATs include such substances as toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and biological, chemical, and radiological agents. HAZMATs may be released as liquids, solids, gases, or a combination or form of all three, including dust, fumes, gas, vapor, mist, and smoke. The actual term “HAZMAT” is used predominantly within the US, or abroad by US companies. Outside the US, this term is known as “DANGEROUS GOODS.”

HAZMAT spills have caused health problems, injuries, and death in people and animals, and have damaged buildings, homes, property, and the environment. Given such dire consequences, it is reasonable to conclude that one may not encounter HAZMATs on a daily basis. The truth, however, is that many products containing hazardous chemicals are routinely used and stored in homes, and are transported every day on the nation’s highways, railroads, airlines, waterways, and pipelines.

Thousands of incidents occur each year in which HAZMATs are released into the environment as a result of accidents or natural disasters. In addition to potentially harming people and the environment, spills in coastal waters may cause substantial disruption of marine transportation with potential widespread economic impacts. Both coastal and inland spills are called HAZMAT incidents, and are routinely addressed by first responders like firefighters and local law enforcement.

Skolnik manufacturers steel containers specifically designed and tested to safely contain dangerous goods that are being transported and/or stored in public and private right-of-way. HAZMAT drums comply with the UN Testing Recommendations as well as the US DOT 49 CFR requirements for manufacture of steel HAZMAT drums. Many sizes, levels of protection, coatings and special requirements are found at www.skolnik.com.

Nitric Acid Transportation

May 17th, 2022 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Spring has sprung and with it, presumably, the transportation of nitric acid due to the materials popular usage in the production of fertilizers. Industrial grade steel drums are used to transport all sorts of challenging materials and dangerous goods, even corrosive materials such as nitric acid. Nitric acid transportation is tricky because of the instability and oxidizing nature of even dilute nitric acid. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are numerous regulations and requirements surrounding the transportation of nitric acid.

According to the Cargo Handbook, nitric acid is generally transported in two concentrations: 65-75% and, to a lesser extent, 95-98%. 316L grade stainless steel drums give the lowest corrosion rates at the likely transport temperature of the 65-75% concentration. To transport higher concentrations of nitric acid, the corrosion rate of your container will require a more precise analysis of the concentration and temperature.

In general, nitric acid won’t be transported in a standard grade of stainless steel. At least not without proper analysis to determine if a lining or other precaution can significantly reduce the corrosion rate.

When it comes to threat, Nitric acid is a triple threat: it is highly toxic by inhalation, highly corrosive to the skin AND is a powerful oxidizing agent and can therefore be explosive and/or flammable if it interacts with numerous compounds – both base and organic.

We recommend discussing the storage and transportation of nitric acid with all facility, transport and safety stakeholders related to your operations as well as your manufacturer before determining the proper containment and procedure of the material. It must be shipped in accordance with the IMDG Code and internal ML rules and restrictions, but be sure to research all potential local and domestic regulations as well before transporting nitric acid.

Renewal of “M” Numbers

May 17th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

At the recent Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) Technical Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, an update was provided to RIPA members on recent changes:

  1. Beginning in November 2017, U.S. DOT began putting registered “M” numbers on a 5-year cycle for renewal.
  2. M-Number holders were given one year to write into DOT and preserve their number(s). RIPA assisted its members in fulfilling this task.
  3. Reconditioner numbers (“R” Numbers and “Registered Symbols” were allowed to continue for the purpose of marking packaging).
  4. Members were advised to look for correspondence from DOT re-establishing their M Number(s), as many are coming due for renewal in late 2022 and early 2023.

The RIPA meeting was well attended and featured an outstanding presentation by Bill Schoonover, PHMS OHMS, on “DOT Looks to the Future of Regulation”.

Is it About Time We Give Up Glass Wine Bottles?

May 10th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing in a recent edition of VinePair, Samantha Maxwell makes the following observation: “Sustainability is a buzzword in every industry, but when it’s used in reference to wine, there’s an immediate association with organic vineyards, biodynamics, and the ever-elusive concept of “natural” wine. Until recently, every time I carried my clanging, beautifully labeled bottles from the nearest natural wine shop home in my canvas tote, I would revel in my eco-friendliness knowing that I had avoided the mass-produced juice I used to drink straight from the spigot when I was in my college years”.

Maxwell continues: “As it turns out, I am not the wine-sipping environmental warrior I had imagined myself to be. Because while responsible farming practices may be important in producing wines that have a minimal negative impact on the environment, sustainability in the wine world comes down to the packaging just as much as the wine itself. And though glass may appear to be the better option, those pretty bottles you keep long after the wine has been consumed are not that great for the environment.”

Sarah Trubnick, founder of Northeast Wine Company and owner of San Francisco’s “The Barrel Room”, has a background in science but is now firmly entrenched in the wine world. She says that of all the ways wine can be packaged, “glass is the worst, hands down.” And although age-worthy wines may require glass packaging, there’s no reason that young, ready-to-drink wines couldn’t be packaged in other materials.

Glass’s lack of sustainability has many causes, but it all starts with the production of the material itself. While cans, plastic, and cardboard can be produced with renewable energy sources like hydroelectric or solar power, glass must be smelted, a process that requires natural gas. This automatically puts glass at a disadvantage on the sustainability front. But it doesn’t end there. An ability to be recycled is also an important consideration. Trubnick says that recycling aluminum is significantly easier than recycling glass. In fact, when you throw a glass wine bottle in the recycling bin, “you’re looking at maybe a third of the glass in your glass bottle being recycled,” she says. And that’s if those bottles are even recycled in the first place. As of 2018, the EPA found that less than 40 percent of glass wine and liquor bottles made it into the recycling bin. Considering that bottles are so heavy, some consumers don’t even bother hauling them to the bin. Cans and cardboard boxes, on the other hand, are easier to smash and break down, respectively, making them simpler for consumers to dispose of properly.

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the environmental benefits when you use our stainless-steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless-steel wine barrels are durable, reusable, easy to clean, and 100% recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.