Malt and Barley Dusts Prove Dangerous
Malt and barley dusts have received little attention until the recent investigation of a violent dust explosion in a malting plant at Buffalo, N. Y., which caused two deaths, injury to fourteen firemen and a property loss of $79,000. Dr. David J. Price, Chemical Engineering Division, U. S. Department of Agriculture, said that this dust danger must not be ignored.
Samples of barley and malt dusts in the various stages of handling, storage, and grinding were collected and tested soon after the Buffalo explosion. They were explosive, like other grain dusts.
The malting plant explosion in Buffalo indicates the further possibility of malt dust explosions during malt grinding operations in the brewing industries and emphasizes that the brewing industry needs to learn the measures developed by the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils for dealing with dust explosion hazards during grain grinding operations, says Dr. Price. It also emphasizes the value of periodical inspection of industrial plants where combustible dusts are created during manufacturing operations.
Dr. Price says another danger which has cost the lives of many firemen while fighting factory fires is caused by throwing powerful streams of water into accumulations of dusts, thus raising clouds of combustible and explosive dust. Removing powdered materials front storage bins is also dangerous. He urges special training of firemen in fighting this hazardous type of factory fire, including thorough fantiliaruity with the information which the U. S. Department of Agriculture has made available on dust explosions.