Tequila is the proudly Mexican spirit drink. It is produced by the fermentation and distillation of agave sugars, and a final and important stage is maturation. This is done for the varieties of reposado, añejo and extra añejo tequila. The tequila is stored in white oak barrels for the color and distinctive aromas of the wood. Each of the tequila varieties requires a different period of time in the barrel, and will be ready to be packaged and marketed. In the Maturation or Barrel area it is very important to have a security system for 2 Factors: 1) Fire or explosion of flammable substances, such as alcohol and concentration in case of substantial spillage 2) Inhalation of alcohol vapors
How flammable is tequila? According to the NOM-005-STPS-1998, CONDITIONS OF SAFETY AND HYGIENE IN THE WORK CENTERS FOR THE HANDLING, TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE OF DANGEROUS CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES; Flammable substances are those in solid, liquid or gaseous state with a flash point less than or equal to 37.8 ° C, which is easily published and generally occurs violently. In the case of tequila, alcohol (Ethanol) is one of its main components, which has been handled by 55%. This alcohol has a flash point of 17.7 ° C. According to the classification of the diamond, NFPA gives rise to flammability to risk degree 3, which makes it a very dangerous substance. How explosive are the alcohol vapors of tequila?
On the other hand, the explosive levels are between 3.3% and 19% concentration of alcohol vapors in the atmosphere, which are conditions that are potentially present when tequila is being handled.
For example during the transfer from one tank to another, in rest areas due to the normal perspiration of the wood from which barrels and pipons are made, or when an emergency occurs due to spillage of the substance.
What dangers are there when inhaling alcohol vapors?
The inhalation of alcohol vapors at high concentrations that according to NOM-010-STPS-2014, CHEMICAL AGENTS POLLUTANTS OF THE LABOR ENVIRONMENT-RECOGNITION, EVALUATION AND CONTROL, for ethanol the limit of exposure allowed in short time or peak is of 1000 ppm.
As a consequence, when this limit is exceeded, there is a risk of intoxication, which can present symptoms such as headache, nausea, direct affectations to the nervous system and respiratory system.
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