March 30, 2017
Anechoic chambers are specialized areas that absorb reflections of sound and electromagnetic waves. These rooms generally contain high value, sensitive assets for telecommunication and electronics testing. These chambers have unique fire suppression needs and now there’s a sustainable clean agent to help protect those spaces and assets.
Anechoic chambers absorb reflections of sound and electromagnetic waves using pyramid shaped radiation absorbing material (RAM). The material generates heat as it absorbs wave reflections which can cause it to combust if the heat is not properly dissipated. Due to the high value of the contents in the room, gaseous fire suppression systems are commonly used to reduce this risk as described in FM Global Data Sheet 1-53: Anechoic Chambers.
March 14, 2017
Every new administration comes with its own wave of policy and regulatory change. The fate of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) policy and regulation under the Trump Administration was clouded with uncertainty. Until now.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) publically defended the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rule to limit use of high global warming (GWP) HFCs at the D.C. Court of Appeals hearing for Mexichem, a Mexican chemical manufacturer, and Arkema, a French chemical company. In their lawsuit, Mexichem and Arkema argue that the U.S. EPA only has authority to change the status of ozone damaging chemicals, such as halon, and not to the list of substitutes, such as HFCs. According to E&E News’ GreenWire, the DOJ argued that the EPA is permitted by law to make changes when the older chemicals pose a danger to health or the environment. And because HFCs have high GWPs, many times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide, the DOJ considers the EPA justified in taking them off the list of acceptable substitutes for that reason.
February 21, 2017
With the ever-changing regulatory and political landscape, it can be difficult to keep up with the current state of the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown under the Montreal Protocol. Late last year at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda, nearly 200 nations approved the timetable to phasedown high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs. Known as the Kigali Amendment, this agreement clearly defines the international phasedown paths for HFC production and use.
UNEP’s Kigali Amendment Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.02 MB) provides a comprehensive summary of the HFC phasedown, making it a great resource for fire suppression specifiers and end-users moving away from legacy high GWP HFCs like FM-200™ and ECARO-25®.
January 31, 2017
On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft of the Federal Register Notice proposing to ban the use of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) in vapor degreasing due to significant health risks when used in vapor degreasing. According to its press release, the U.S. EPA is “proposing to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE for use in vapor degreasing. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions.” Comments on the proposed rule must be received 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
Trichloroethylene, also known as TCE or TRIKE, is a toxic volatile organic compound (VOC) that is often used in immersion cleaning, solvent cleaning and vapor degreasing applications. Because TCE poses significant health risks and because viable, safer solvent cleaning alternatives are available, it was only a matter of time before U.S. regulatory agencies proposed a TCE ban or phasedown. As a matter of fact, Europe classified TCE as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) under the EU REACH regulations in 2010 and, as of April 2016, the EU officially sunset the chemical.