The Chlorates Hazard

The Chlorates Hazard

The paper published on another page on the “Hazard of the Chlorates” again emphasizes the necessity of careful handling and the even more necessary regulation of storage of the various chlorates, substances used generally not only in the manufacture of high explosives, but also in many other branches of industry, such as the making of coal-tar dyes, fireworks, matches, and many forms of medical compounds. There is no doubt that, left to their own devices, manufacturers of these articles will become careless, and to save a few dollars in time and storage, will accumulate large quantities of the dangerous chlorates in places where a small fire may cause a terrible disaster. The Tarrant explosion in New York and that in the Sharpe & Dohme building in Baltimore, which are still within the memory of the members of this generation, and the more recent disaster in the Jarvis Company’s factory in Jersey City, N. J., prove this fact. The peculiarly subtle danger of these inflammable and explosive compounds, where the spark from a scraping boot may ignite the powder spilled from a broken cask that has fallen on the floor and become mixed with wood dust or other foreign material, and set off the entire mass, makes the necessity for regulation in regard to the accumulation of large quantities, and the scrupulous cleanliness of the factories where the stuff is handled all the more important. If manufacturers of these dangerous substances will not voluntarily take proper precautions to safeguard themselves and their neighbors, they must be compelled to do so by regulation.

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