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Glow sticks breaking open – chemical splash risk

What happened?

While activating a ‘glow stick’ the casing snapped releasing the glow dye. Our member noted that a number of sticks from the same batch broke open, releasing the chemical dye contents.

What went wrong? What were the causes?

Probable causes noted:

  • Storage – the plastic from which these are made is known to be brittle if exposed to extreme temperatures. This may be a probable cause considering warehousing locations of the item;
  • Issues with manufacture – the manufacturer speculated that “during the injection when we make the tube a small piece of dust [may have] prevented the tube from forming properly which can cause this type of phenomenon.”

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • Ensure long-term storage in appropriate air-conditioned environment;
  • When opening such light sticks, do so well away from your eyes, and wearing protective gloves;
  • Check expiry date and/or authenticity of existing stock of such materials.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 3 December 2018
Download: IMCA SF 26/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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