National Cargo Bureau warns of resin risk

National Cargo Bureau warns of resin risk

The National Cargo Bureau has warned that improperly stowed expandable polymeric beads, generally referred to as resin, has been responsible for recent fires and explosions in containers.

The Bureau's president, Capt. James McNamara, said that four recent fires and explosions on vessels were caused by resin shipments.

The beads are a packaging and molding material in granular or bead form, about three millimeters in diameter. During transport, they can emit pentane, which can lead to generation of flammable concentrations of gas.

The commodity is covered by the U.S. Code of Federal Regulation, and by the International Dangerous Goods Code.

"A person familiar with these codes would look up "polymeric" or "polystyrene" to find the pertinent regulations regarding labeling, placarding, stowage, and ventilation. However, if one looked up the commodity under "expandable," nothing would be mentioned," the bureau said in a statement.

The National Cargo Bureau is a no-for-profit agency headquartered in New York that provides cargo-surveying services.