Section Four - Fire/Explosion Data
A few years back at where I work, we had an outside contractor performing some work in our parking lots. At the end of the day he was loading his tools and equipment into the back of his pick-up truck. He somehow punctured an aerosol can of striping paint and the escaping gas ignited. The whole incident lasted only a second or at most, two. A rapidly expanding ball of fire that disappeared in little more then a blink of a eye and a worker laying on ground with second and third degree burns over a considerable amount of his upper torso. I arrived on the scene approximately five minutes after the can ignited and there was still a heavy smell of brunt flesh in the air.
About two months or so later I spoke with him; he was still in treatment and experiencing constant pain. The one thing that bothered him the most was that he thought the spray paint container was empty. It was his practice to toss the spent containers of paint into the back of his truck as he was working and he would dispose of them when he unloaded truck at his shop. While the can probably was empty of paint, it still contained the propellant, which was highly flammable.
When I put together this MSDS for this chapter, I took great effort in making sure the information contained in it would be what you would likely find in the real world in MSDSs for products with a similar chemical composition. Had I written this MSDS for a real product that used highly flammable propellant (and most paint and solvent aerosols do) I would include the warning:
Empty containers still may contain flammable gas and can cause serious injury.
The sad reality is, of the multitude of MSDSs that I reviewed that contain flammable gasses; I have run across only a few that has given this warning.
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