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3 Posts authored by: dbaio Employee

marine chemist, award, LNG


Last week, NFPA attended the 59th Annual Marine Chemist Association (MCA) Seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? In actuality, Albuquerque provided a central meeting spot between the coastlines. The group was able to hear speakers from a number of stakeholders including NFPA, OSHA and the U.S. Coast Guard.


For their service to the Marine Field Service Program, the MCA awarded Larry Russell, NFPA Principal Chemical/Marine Specialist and Jill McGovern, NFPA Marine Chemist Project Administrator at the event.


Coincidentally, the meeting location happened to be near Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. C. LaFleur and Dr. G. Gran from Sandia spoke on the future of hydrogen as marine cargo and as a fuel source. As the demand for alternative fuels, notably liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen, continues to grow, it will directly impact the maritime industry and global consumers.



NFPA has been associated with the marine industry since the early 1900s. In 1963, the NFPA Marine Field Service was created to manage the Marine Chemist Program.


So back to the story…what is a marine chemist? A marine chemist is an individual who is certified by the NFPA Marine Chemist Qualification Board (MCQB) and is qualified to issue these certificates in compliance with NFPA 306 Standard for the Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels, OSHA and the US Coast Guard. Please check out Jill McGovern’s blogs to find out more about marine chemists and their role on the qualification board.


For more information on LNG and hydrogen applications, please reference NFPA 59A Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code.


Photo (left to right): Larry Russell (NFPA), Jill McGovern (NFPA), Don Raffo (MCA)

Safety in our school laboratories should be a top priority to protect our children. Yesterday, a common school experiment using chemicals and fire to create a rainbow of colors has gone wrong…once again…resulting in the injury of 12 Texas preschoolers.


Dangers in the school lab prompted the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) to produce a 2013 safety video entitled “After the Rainbow”, focused on potential dangers in high school laboratories. Subsequently, in January 2014, the American Chemical Society issued a safety alert on the "rainbow" demonstration.


NFPA Codes and Standards address this topic as well. NFPA 45 is a Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals, 2015 edition. Chapter 12 addresses Educational and Instructional Laboratory Operations with general requirements including a documented hazard risk assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and a safety barrier. Section 12.3.2 specifically addresses standards for the performance of experiments or demonstrations. Laboratories can be an educational environment for our children, but it needs to be done safely.


Teachers have an obligation and responsibility to teach and perform safe laboratory practices. The NFPA addressed this issue in the NFPA Journal article Unsafe Science. The safety habits that children develop in school laboratories will last them their entire life…to the rainbow’s end.


Got Propane?

Posted by dbaio Employee Mar 2, 2017

Happy March! Unfortunately, winter isn’t over yet…we still have cold weather and the potential for more snow & ice ahead. To heat our homes and offices, propane is a popular and clean fuel to use. However, propane also has some inherently hazardous properties. Did you know that propane is heavier than air? And, it is highly flammable? When propane leaks, it pools on the floor and looks for an ignition sources…a pilot light, an electrical outlet etc.


An odorizer (ethyl mercaptan) is added to propane so that people can smell the gas and detect a leak. Instead of trusting our noses, inexpensive fixed gas detectors are available at the local stores for use 24 hours/7 days/week. It is a much better alternative to our nose! Another suggestion is to regularly inspect your fuel lines. The accumulation of snow and ice can also compromise external fuel lines so it is just one more things to be aware of. Enjoy the rest of winter and stay warm & safe!


For more information on propane, visit Please reference NFPA 54 National Fuel Gas Code or NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code


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