CHEMICAL OFFICIAL CHALLENGES CALCIUM HYPOCHLORITE WARNING
An executive with the world’s leading producer of hydrated calcium
hypochlorite has challenged a Danish Maritime Authority warning regarding handling
shipments of the chemical product.
John R. Neikirk, director of international marketing for Arch Chemicals Inc.,
said the International Maritime Dangerous Goods code said calcium hypochlorite should be
stored away from sources of heat where temperatures will not exceed 55 degrees celcius for
more than 24 hours.
The Danish authority cited hazardous materials specialists who claim
that the product poses a fire hazard when temperatures reach 35 degrees celcius or above.
"No scientific data has been presented to support lowering the maximum
temperature standard from 55 degrees Celcius," Neikirk said.
Neikirk also disputed claims that the chemical has caused several recent
fires aboard containerships.
"We are aware of no shipboard fire incidents, including those from 1997
to 1999, where hydrated cal hypo, stowed in accordance with the code, has been proven to
be the cause," he said. In one instance, the chemical was stowed improperly, he
The producers of cal hypo, which is used in water sanitizing, drinking
water and swimming pools, ship 85,000 metric tons, or more than 6,200 TEUs of the product
overseas each year, he said.