Train to Follow Proper Storage and Disposal Procedures
Here are the safe procedures of aerosol can use that you should train your workers on:
Aerosol cans are pressurized containers. Because high temperatures may increase the pressure inside the can to the point of explosion, cans should never be stored at temperatures above 120 degrees F.
Avoid exposing cans to open flame or such hazards as a stove, radiator, fireplace, or space heater.
Puncturing a can causes a sudden release of pressure that can turn the can into the equivalent of an unguided missile.
Incinerating a can, even if it’s empty, risks explosion.
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Dangerous and Hazardous Ingredients Require a Warning Label
In the past, most of the concern about aerosol cans came from environmentally aware consumers worried about the effect of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) on the atmosphere. Now, however, propellants used in aerosol cans are mostly stable gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) that are considered to be more environmentally friendly.
Aerosol cans that contain dangerous or hazardous ingredients are required to have warning labels. Substances that require warnings include those that are:
In addition to warnings regarding these substances and against puncture or incineration, other common warnings include those of skin and eye irritation and accidental swallowing or inhaling.
Most aerosol can labels contain an 800 number for consumer questions.
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Reducing Aerosol Can Use
Here are some ways your company can easily reduce the use of aerosol cans. Some of these can be easily incorporated into your training program.
Get your employees involved. Recognize and reward employees who minimize aerosol use.
Audit aerosols. Inventory aerosol cans in stock and past purchases. Determine which are essential.
Implement controls. Make an "OK to Purchase" list of essential aerosols. Require special approval to purchase others. Limit inventory access.
Use them up. Don’t dispose of aerosol cans until they are completely used up.
Find and use substitutes. Try a squirt bottle and rag instead of an aerosol or ask vendors and others about nonhazardous substitutes that may work for you.
Use refillable pumps. Use refillable pump sprayers instead of aerosol cans. Purchase commonly-used fluids in bulk for cost savings.
Recycle. Devices exist to puncture aerosol cans and drain the contents for reuse.