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OSHA Hazard Information Bulletins1
Fire and Explosion Hazards Associated with Dried Beef Blood

June 4, 1996




  • Acting Director
  • Directorate of Technical Support


  • Hazard Information Bulletin1: Fire and Explosion Hazards Associated with Dried Beef Blood

The Kansas City Regional office has brought to our attention potential fire and explosion hazards associated with dried beef blood. This material, also known as blood meal, is produced from clean, fresh beef blood, obtained from cattle slaughter houses. Concerned that the dried beef blood organic dust may be hazardous and explosive, an exhaustive search of various data bases was conducted but no pertinent information was found. A bulk sample was then sent to the OSHA Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC) for analysis.

Class II dust is defined by the National Material Advisory Board (NMAB) 353-3-80, Classification of Combustible Dusts in Accordance with the National Electric Code, as having an ignition sensitivity equal to or greater than 0.2 OR explosion severity equal to or greater than 0.5 (See endnote2)

ENDNOTE2 Ignition sensitivity and explosion severity are defined by the U.S. Bureau of Mines as follows:

Ignition sensitivity   =     (T(c) x E x M(c))1

(T(c) x E x M(c))2
Explosion severtiy   =     (P(max) x P)2

(P(max) x P)1
  • Where P(max) = Maximum Explosive Pressure;
  • P = Maximum Rate Pressure Rise;
  • T(c) = Minimum Ignition Temperature;
  • E = Minimum Ignition Energy;
  • M(c) = Minimum Explosive Concentration;

1 refers to the appropriate values for Pittsburgh seam coal, the; standard dust used by the US Bureau of Mines.

2 refers to the values for the specific dust in question.


Analysis of the dried beef blood by the SLTC using Bureau of Mines test method RI 5624 revealed that the ignition sensitivity and explosion severity to be 0.2600 and 0.4300 respectively. These quantities indicate explosion hazards requiring electrical equipment suitable for Class II locations. Based on previous inspection activities in the meat packing and slaughtering Industry, Standard Industrial Classification 2011, dried beef blood manufacturing areas may be Class II, division 2 locations.

Section 29 CFR 1910.399 defines Class II Division 2 locations as locations in which: (a) combustible dust will not normally be in suspension in the air in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures, and dust accumulations are normally insufficient to interfere with the normal operation of electrical equipment or other apparatus; or (b) dust may be in suspension in the air as a result of infrequent malfunctioning of handling or processing equipment, and dust accumulation resulting therefrom may be ignitible by abnormal operation or failure of electrical equipment or other apparatus.

Our concern is based on one batch of dried beef blood collected from one site. Our literature search revealed no values for the dried beef blood ignition sensitivity and explosive severity. Therefore, additional samples may be needed to better define these values. Nevertheless, the combustible nature of dried beef blood suggests that importers, manufacturers, distributors, and users of the product should be aware of our findings.

Please distribute this bulletin to all Area Offices, State Plan States, Consultation Projects, and appropriate local labor and industry organizations.

1 The Directorate of Technical Support issues Hazard Information Bulletins (HIB) in accordance with OSHA Instruction CPL 2.65 to provide relevant information regarding unrecognized or misunderstood health hazards, inadequacies of materials, devices, techniques, and safety engineering controls. HIBs are initiated based on information provided by the field staff, studies, reports and concerns expressed by safety and health professionals, employers, and the public. Bulletins are developed based on a thorough evaluation of available facts and in coordination with appropriate parties.

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