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With recent incidents ranging from store fires and gas leaks all the way through to major acts of terrorism, authorities are becoming more vigilant and imposing stricter controls on dangerous goods. This covers all aspects, from their manufacture, transport and storage through to their acquisition and end-use by consumers. Retail outlets that carry large quantities of dangerous goods can expect increased attention from organisations like the WorkCover Authority. Following the Bali bombing, retailers might even find themselves being visited by emergency services like the police seeking that staff monitor and report any unusually large requests or purchases of potentially dangerous materials.

We are all acutely aware that certain pool chemicals – most notably calcium hypochlorite (cal hypo) – impose a significant fire risk and can be used in homemade explosives or as accelerants in arson attacks. Yet, in the midst of these concerns, there is an excellent opportunity for dealers to promote the safety benefits of BioGuard's range of non-dangerous goods (non-DG) alternatives. Indeed, BioGuard dealers need to actively sell the non- DG aspects of such products as the public perception is generally a very simplistic "all pool chemicals are dangerous". Consumers need to be educated that perceived "non-chemical" solutions to sanitising their pools, like copper/silver ionisers, are not the only non-dangerous alternative.

For a start, you should always recommend sodium bisulfate (dry acid) over hydrochloric (liquid) acid. It is much safer to transport, store and handle than its liquid counterpart. Furthermore, bisulfate is too weak an acid to be used for illicit purposes. With regards to pool sanitisers and oxidisers, unblended sodium dichloroisocyanurate (dichlor) and trichloroisocyanuric acid (trichlor) are already recognized as being at the lower end of the fire and explosion risk for Class 5.1 oxidisers. Indeed, there are moves within the US to have the United Nations reclassify the two compounds as low-risk dangerous goods, pushing the packaging group category from the stringent PG II to the less prescriptive PG III category. Irrespective of the success of these moves, dichlor and trichlor remain much less dangerous than cal hypo.

Notwithstanding this, Bio-Lab has exploited developments in borate technology to develop a range of non-DG products that simply don’t burn at all – Lite, Salt Pool Sparkle, Spa Lite, Power Chlor, Pacific Blue Power Tabs and Burn Out Extreme. If local authorities or your customers express fears about potential terrorist acquisitions of pool chlorines, this is an ideal opportunity to sell them on the non-DG benefits of the above-named products.

With regards to pool chemicals, the biggest problem from a dangerous goods viewpoint is cal hypo and, to a somewhat lesser extent, liquid chlorine. Many of Bio-Lab's competitors are heavily reliant on sales of cal hypo and liquid chlorine. Whereas they also sell a limited range and quantity of dichlor and trichlor products, none of these have been approved by the WorkCover Authority as non-dangerous goods. Bio-Lab is the only Australian pool chemical manufacturer to currently market a range of non-DG pool chlorines and to be heavily involved in developing more non-DG products for the future.

The above information is supplied by Bio-Lab and represents its best interpretation of available technical information at the time of preparation. The sole purpose is to supply factual information to Bio-Lab customers. It is not to be taken out of context nor used as support for any other claim not made herein.
Last update: 30 April 2003