The permitted clear and non-perfumed variant of these fuels is being sold in increasing quantities. Unfortunately, even the smallest quantities of these dangerous fuels are sufficient to cause serious lung damage. In these accidents children usually drank from the unsafe oil lamps. Paraffin can easily get into the lungs and cause chemical pneumonia, in the worst case this can be lethal.
However, relatively simple technical measures can ensure a child-safe design for oil lamps so that such accidents can be avoided. Since the manufacturers and distributors of oil lamps have not been active so far, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), in co-operation with the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), has designed a child-safe burner for oil lamps and oil lanterns. The design will be provided to manufacturers and distributors of oil lamps and lanterns free of charge.
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and its predecessor institutes have made efforts to co-operate with industry to reduce the risk of poisoning by lamp oil through awareness campaigns and improvements to legal regulations for over ten years. Child-safe catches on the containers, warnings and the prohibition of coloured and perfumed paraffin-based lamp oils brought many improvements. Nevertheless, there is still a risk which cannot be neglected: German paediatric clinics reported about 70 poisonings of children with lamp oil, some of them serious, within the BfR monitoring alone in 2006. Most children drank from unsafe oil lamps or oil lanterns filled with clear and non-perfumed paraffin-based oil. Although a European Standard (DIN EN 14059), which stipulates the safety provisions and test procedures for oil lamps for decorative purposes has been in existence due to the initiatives of BfR since 2003, the manufacturers and distributors have so far neglected to develop and market child-safe oil lamps for the home. Also, very few child-safe oil lamps and lanterns are available for open-air use.
Because of their concern for child health, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and the BfR, have developed a draft design for a child-safe burner for lamp oils. It is a simple and very inexpensive item, which can be manufactured with little technical effort, and existing oil lamps can be adapted. The burners are designed so that children cannot open this oil lamp and drink from it nor can they get easy access to the wick. BAM, as the responsible authority, is providing this draft design to manufacturers and distributors free of charge via the internet. The industry can convert it into their own marketable products in order to meet the regulations of product safety. The law requires that products may not endanger the health of the consumer when used correctly or in anticipated improper use.
It has to be emphasised in connection with the activities of BAM and BfR that the less dangerous substitutes for lamp oils based on biodiesel, mineral oil or coco oil only make up a small fraction of the oil on sale. After the prohibition of the dangerous coloured and perfumed paraffin-based oils, consumers mostly moved to the permitted clear and non-perfumed paraffin. Therefore the danger remains that children get poisoned by this lamp oil through inappropriate use of unsafe oil lamps.
New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
21.09.2017 | Penn State
Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
21.09.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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