Safety warning about asbestos in acetylene cylinders

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recently issued a safety alert about imported acetylene cylinders that have been found to contain asbestos.

The asbestos identified through tests relates to the internal insulation (porous mass) in the acetylene cylinders.

The cylinders were manufactured and supplied by companies based in China.

The Australian importer was advised by the China-based supplier that the cylinders were asbestos-free.

A batch was tested in China in 2018 and the laboratory certificate stated the insulation did not contain asbestos.

Another batch was tested in 2020 by a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratory in Australia and was found to contain chrysotile asbestos.

Acetylene is a colourless gas which is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is the hottest of all fuel gases and is used for a number of applications including welding, plastics and acrylic acid derivatives and portable lighting.

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