Explosive Hazards

aht has extensive experience in the decontamination and removal of explosive hazards. Over the past 20 years, aht has completed numerous projects of these type throughout Canada.


These projects have included; the decontamination and removal of explosive hazards from laboratory equipment, drainage piping, exhaust ductwork, etc. Some of the hazards that have been decontaminated in these projects have included:

Perchloric Acid

Perchloric acid is a highly explosive and dangerously corrosive material. It has been historically used in laboratories to complete digestions of organic material. The perchloric acid mist and vapor condenses in fume hood ventilation systems to form metallic perchlorate deposits, which are highly explosive.

In older laboratories, these fume hoods are still in use and in many cases perchloric acid hasn't been used in many years, but will still test positive for perchloric acid residue.  When removing these fume hoods during construction or renovation activities, the fume hoods and ventilation systems require decontamination and removal by experienced personnel equipped with ballistic gear, and utilizing specific techniques to prevent explosion.

In many cases,  there are no personnel or records remaining at facilities that can verify conclusively if perchloric acid was used in fume hoods, so building owners are responsible to have the hoods and associated exhaust systems tested for perchloric acid, or assume the worst case scenario and have the systems treated and removed as perchloric acid contaminated.

Sodium Azide

Sodium azide is often found in drainage piping used in instrument reagents and as a preservative.  When azides are present in copper, metal, and lead drainage pipes, it becomes highly explosive through a chemical reaction with the metal in the pipes themselves.

It is most commonly used in hospital and clinical laboratory processes usually associated with hematology and immunology. aht has performed many azide decontamination and/or removal projects throughout Canada where entire plumbing systems were treated on site prior to removal and disposal. aht utilizes ballistic gear when removing the drainage lines as a precaution in the event of an explosion. The treatment of removed lines are performed by using  precise concentration mixtures of sodium hydroxide solution, and for certain metals,  a secondary treatment of a precise concentration mixture of nitrous acid solution.

Additional Explosive Hazards

At the core, we are a problem solving company. If you have contamination that you're unsure of, please contact us and we can provide information, as well as solutions.

© 2018 All rights reserved aht.