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Archive for the ‘Skolnik Newsletter’ Category

A New Dangerous Goods Resource for Everything!

September 22nd, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

In mid August, Labelmaster launched their new DG Exchange. The DG Exchange is an online community where any DG and supply chain business professionals can share ideas, learn and collaborate to understand and better navigate dangerous goods issues, challenges and trends. Have a question about new shipping regulations? Need help transporting lithium batteries safely? Struggling to improve compliance within your supply chain? Finding solutions to those questions through information sharing and peer support is exactly why the DG Exchange has been created. Furthermore, the DG Exchange is an online community where any DG and supply chain business professionals can share ideas, learn and collaborate to understand and better navigate dangerous goods issues, challenges and trends.

Whether your organization ships dangerous goods daily or a few packages a year, the DG Exchange is a place where professionals at all levels of an organization can come to better understand the complex world of dangerous goods and gain valuable information, insights and connections that will enable them to enhance business performance, improve operations, drive revenue and more.

Not only is it the dangerous goods industry’s first digital community, it’s also the new home for the DG Symposium, so you’ll find all of this year’s planned Symposium content in a new, virtual space.

Register now for the DG Exchange atwww.dgexchange.com

A Pinot (Film) Noir

September 15th, 2020 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Burgundy has become the site for some of the most harrowing tales in wine cinema. A devastating frost wipes out a vintage. An international supervillain stages an elaborate fraud. But few match the potential Pinot (film) Noir intrigue of “Shadows in the Vineyard”, a true wine drama of threatened vine sabotage and a high-stakes ransom on perhaps the most hallowed ground in wine: the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC). Earlier this month, the film company, Landmark Studio Group announced that production would soon begin on a story that will strike fear in the heart of any Burgundy lover.

Adapting Maximillian Potter&rsqo;s book of the same name, the limited TV series “Shadows in the Vineyard” will dramatize the 2010 exploitation case that rocked the iconic estate and all of Burgundy. In January of that year, co-owner Aubert de Villaine received anonymous letters threatening to poison and destroy DRC‘s acclaimed, incalculably valuable vineyard, the Romanée-Conti grand cru monopole, unless a $1.2 million ransom was paid.

Writing in Wine Spectator’s “Unfiltered” blog, Colin Dreizen reports that: “The 2015 book ‘Shadows in the Vineyard,’ provides the foundation for the series. Noah Wyle and Judith Light have signed on to co-star. What followed was a saga unfolding in the usually quiet Côte d’Or.” “Max’s story is many things,” co-producer David Ozer of Landmark Studio told Unfiltered via email. “It is a mystery, a love letter to Burgundy. But I think what the creative team loves is the fact that it is a story of hope—of light triumphing in the face of darkness.” The producers also indicated the story will explore the writer Potter’s own transformative experiences, and a new appreciation for wine, gained during his time in Burgundy researching the book. “Production is planned to start in early 2021. While specific locations have not been decided yet, the producers would ideally film in real-life Burgundy”, Dreizen writes, Potter will be revisiting the story as a co-writer of the screenplay, and his team hopes to involve DRC and Burgundy locals as much as they can. “What the people of Burgundy went through during this event was a real trauma, in many ways,” Ozer said. “We want to respect that.”

But it wouldn’t be much of a wine drama without, well, wine. Wine will be central to “Shadows in the Vineyard”; and the team will be turning to expert wine consultants to get every element right. “We think that this is an incredibly complex, multifaceted story and, like a wonderful grand cru, there is so much to savor here,” Ozer stated. “It needs time to breathe, so as to allow all of these intricate elements to be fully realized.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, there’s no drama with our Stainless Steel Wine Barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums.

The Labor That Keep Our Communities and Families Safe

September 8th, 2020 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

As we go about our daily lives, each of us has numerous unknown encounters with dangerous goods (hazardous materials) without incident. These encounters are safe because those goods are safely packaged, transported, stored and used, thanks to the hard work of dangerous goods professionals (DG) around the world whose efforts often go unnoticed.

On August 4, 2020, in Beruit, Lebanon, 2,750 tons of ammonia nitrate exploded, killing at least 220 people, injuring more than 5,000, and leaving over 300,000 homeless. The blast is the largest accidental ammonia nitrate explosion ever recorded. At least ten times over the past six years, Lebanese security agencies and judiciary sounded the alarm bell that a massive amount of explosive chemicals were being unsafely stockpiled at the port in the heart of Beirut. Even with all these warnings of an impending disaster, nothing was done, and sadly, a tragedy occurred.

Manufactured in beads that resemble cooking salt, ammonia nitrate is generally safe to handle and is used in numerous ways, such as in fertilizer for agriculture. But storing and transporting it can be problematic. When exposed to high heat and other fuel sources, ammonia nitrate can become explosive. This is why in many countries there are strict rules governing its storage and transportation. For example, many European Union nations require calcium carbonate be added to it, creating calcium ammonium nitrate, which is safer. In the United States, regulations were tightened after two tons of ammonia nitrate were used to create the bomb in the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building attack that killed 168 people; now, under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, facilities that store 2,000lbs of ammonia nitrate are subject to inspection.

In my nearly 30 years of work in the dangerous goods community, I have sat through countless meetings, presentations, and hearings discussing the finer points of performance-oriented packaging testing or the proper paperwork and labeling for a shipment of radioactive material. I have had numerous conversations late into the night about the shipment of oxygen cylinders on airplanes. And if you really want to jumpstart a heated discussion, bring up the illegal shipment of counterfeit lithium batteries. The one thing all of these encounters have had in common is the untold number of DG professionals who have dedicated their careers to keeping people and the environment safe.

Not many of us actually set out to have a career in this field, but once we are introduced to it, it becomes a life long passion. Ranging from government regulators, fire department chiefs, trade association members, and dangerous goods managers at companies around the globe, these DG professionals are truly dedicated to keeping us safe from disasters like the one that took place in Lebanon.

As I write this, it is Labor Day weekend in the United States. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the DG community for your work–labor that keeps our communities and families safe.

UN Packagings and Design Re-Qualification – Substitutions Not Allowed

August 25th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

UN packagings are fabricated and tested to specific levels of performance. These tests allow a manufacturer to mark the packaging with the appropriate testing criteria (ie: packing group, maximum gross weight, contents). Often, users innocently alter the integrity of the package by adding accessories (ie: a plastic liner) or by replacing accessories with different components (ie: closure ring, gasket) in which case, the certification of the package can be voided if not re-tested for qualification. “A different packaging” is defined in CFR49 178.601(c)(4) as a packaging that differs from a previously produced packaging in structural design, size, material of construction, wall thickness or manner of construction. Further design qualification testing is not required if the alterations to the packaging do not constitute “a different packaging.” Also, Closure Instructions are packaging specific and must be used only for the packagings as designated.

View our Closure Instruction videos at:

Bolt Ring — https://www.skolnik.com/bolt-ring-closure-instruction-video

Level Lock — https://www.skolnik.com/leverlock-open-head-closure-instruction-video

Fittings — www.skolnik.com/closed-head-closure-instruction-video

PHMSA Extends Enforcement for the Transport of Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products

August 18th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, PHMSA is aware of the challenges that transportation companies are facing in providing personnel with necessary materials, such as hand sanitizers, that provide for protection of their health and safety and comply with government guidelines. Workplace locations like package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, resulting in an urgent need for sanitizing and disinfecting products.

As a result, PHMSA will extend its enforcement discretion for the transportation of any carrier transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials on a motor vehicle for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of employees of the carrier. Transport of these products must also be in accordance with PHMSA’s April 20, 2020 Notice of Enforcement Discretion. The extended enforcement discretion will continue through October 31, 2020.

French Researchers Unlock a Secret to Wine Bitterness: Oak Barrels

August 11th, 2020 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In a recent article, in Wine Spectator’s “Unfiltered” newsletter, Collin Dreizen reports on a study, and a very unpleasant blind tasting, that reveals how one chemical compound in oak barrels may be the culprit for some less welcome flavors in wine.

Collin writes that: “Fans of full-bodied reds and spicy Chardonnays know they can, in part, thank oak barrels for the toasty, nutty vanilla flavors and smooth textures found in their favorite wines. But could wood be adding a bitter note to tipples? It makes sense: Oak imparts tannins, and tannins are astringent. In a recently published study, however, researchers from the University of Bordeaux focused on a different phenolic compound they believed to be the main culprit for barrel bitterness: coumarins. Where are they, how do they affect your wine—and can anything be done about them? With the help of taste-testers willing to try some very bitter potions, the scientists found some surprising answers.”

“Many plants, including oak trees, contain coumarins, compounds so caustic they can deter predators,” explained Dr. Delphine Winstel, the postdoctoral researcher whose thesis formed the basis of the study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and titled the “Role of Oak Coumarins in the Taste of Wines and Spirits.”

But Winstel and her colleagues wanted to figure out which coumarins actually make it into oak barrels. They picked up some samples from the master coopers at Seguin-Moreau and successfully identified the five coumarins known to exist in oak—plus, one more, previously undetected. “It is always very satisfying to find a compound that had never been identified in wine,” Winstel told Unfiltered.

How much of a pucker do coumarins really pack in the glass, and at what levels are they detectable? To find out, the team hosted a more-acrid-than-usual blind tasting of coumarin-laced wine and spirit samples for a group of 22 trained tasters. With noses clipped to block the coumarins’ noxious odor, the panel dutifully tasted through. “I’m not sure that tasting bitter molecules in a hydro-alcoholic solution in the morning is the best pleasure in life,” Winstel observed. “But every panelist was diligent!”

Winstel’s group also analyzed 90 commercial wines for coumarin levels, plus some spirits: reds from Bordeaux and Burgundy, whites from the Loire and Alsace, Cognac vintages back to 1970, and more. They found higher coumarin levels in red wines than white, but beyond that, “there is no particular region or appellation that shows a higher level of all coumarins,” Winstel concluded.

Collin summarizes that: “While the team determined how much was too much when it comes to coumarins, and is closer to knowing how coumarin levels can vary between different trees and perhaps even barrels, there’s much work and unpleasant tasting yet to be done. But these new findings could still have a real effect on the wine industry. Vintners might one day work with coopers to limit the coumarin levels in their wines. And any discovery makes for a sweeter day in the world of wine.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, there’s no bitterness in our Stainless Steel Wine Barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums.