Grenfell Tower Disaster

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Flammable Refrigerants & the Grenfell Tower disaster

Flammable refrigerants used as insulation blowing agent (cladding & appliance) & coolent in the refrigerator play a major role in the Grenfell Tower disaster. 

Content

1) Grenfell Tower Disaster

2) Independent Review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety

3) The Grenfell Tower Enquiry

4) Actions in progress


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1) Grenfell Tower Disaster event which led to 72 people died unnecessarily had they & the fire authority been clearly warned that the refrigerator operates with highly flammable refrigerant , the refrigerator insulation is highly flammable (see which?) or the clading insulation is made with highly flammable blowing agent;

  1. Started by a Hotpoint / Whirlpool refrigerator-freezer insulation foam produced using butane (A3 class highly flmmable) Blowing Agentand the refrigerator cooling circuit charged with A3 class1 (highly flammable) R600a Refrigerant EXPLODING and spreading the fire to the building cladding. (see Intertek report page 11-12) & (Which? report)

  2. Fire spreading furiously through cladding foam, by Kingspan/Celotex produced useing A3 class highly flammable  Blowing Agent

"Click on images to see more

         

 

The culprit materials: Flammable Refrigerantsa 

Notea:
R600a A3 class refrigerant was introduced to domestic refrigerators & freezers in 2000 - 2004 by some manufacturers replacing A1 class non-flammable (since 1928!) (R12 or R134a ) ignoring warnings from industry & UN Fact Sheet13 which aimed at removing Ozon depleteing refrigerants (CFC & HCFC).
A3 highly flammable (Butane) refrigerant used as insulation blowing agaent use started in 2006 - 2008 to replace CFC / HCFC A1 class non-flammable refrigerants. A3 & A2 class are fire propagator while A1 class is fire supressor. Refer to BSEN 13501-1 for insulation clasification 

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2) Independent Review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety 

as a result of the Grenfell disaster occured in June 2017

  

Final Report by  Dame Judith Hackitt   -  May 2018

"The principles of health and safety law do not just apply to those who are engaged in work but also to those who are placed at risk by work activities, including members of the public"


"Residents and consumers need to be at the heart of any new regulatory system"


"This is the very least we can all do for the bereaved and the survivors of the tragdy that occurred on 14 June 2017, and for everyone who needs to know that their homes are safe for them to live in"


“We need a culture change in this industry. You need to care about the building that you are in the supply chain for. You need to care that the people who are going to live in them, work in them and sleep in them feel safe and are safe. Until you care, this system will not change and will not work"


"Why would you want to wait? Why not get ahead of the game and your competitors?”

Dame Judith Hackitt at the BESA Virtual Conference 2020

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3) The Grenfell Tower Enquiry https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk

PHASE 1 Overview Report (Oct 2019)

2.12 Chapter 21 p4 "Rt Hon Sir Martin Moore-Bick" 
"how the failure of a common domestic appliance could have had such disastrous consequences" 

BBC Podcasts & YouTube witness statements

Arconic Podcast 141 and 142 (12 Feb 2021)

Kingspan Podcast 136,137, 138,139 and 140 (27 Nov, 04 Dec and 11 Dec 2020) Celotex Podcast (20 Nov 2020) 
"Staff from the insulation manufacturer Celotex admitted they were unethical"

9 Novenber 2020-Sam Stein QC
Lawyer for the bereaved and survivors


These companies Kingspan,, Arconic and Celotex are no more than cooks and they knew that there product is flammable

9 December 2020- Richard Burnley
Kingspan MD (2014-2019)


"Was not aware that the change of the foam blowing agent? (1:01)". 

2008  tests for the revised product failed. (2:24 - 2:27)".

26 November 2020-Debbie Burger
Celotex Technical Manager


"Was not aware what class O* means 6:40"


* LEGAL OPINION            * LEGAL OPINION          * LEGAL OPINION

   (Click to listen)

a) Corporate manslaughter (duty on companies not only regarding safety of products but duty of safety of users while the company is aware of it and do not inform), or 
b) Individuals within the company for Gross negligence manslaughter (Inviduals aware of safety issues but intentionally hide information) or / and
c) Other fraud or fraud related charges, fire safety offences or H&S offences 

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* REPORTS & BLOGS            * REPORTS & BLOGS           * REPORTS & BLOGS

Whirlpool / Hotpoint Test REPORT (requested by BEIS) (Feb 2018)
"Confirms that the insulation used hydrocarbon blowing agent and not meeting standards...."

Which? REPORT: Fridge Freezer Safety

Environment Agency REPORT. Hydrocarbon-blown fridges are hazardous waste

UNEP Ozone Seretariat Fact Sheet on HFC & Low GWP Alternative as blowing agents in the manufacture of Insulation Foam

Housing After Grenfell blog. Insulation in England & Scotland (13 Jan 2019)


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4) ACTIONS in progress, post Dame Judith Hackett report

- Building Safety Bill (click here)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-building-safety-bill


- New regulator established to ensure construction materials are safe Press release 19 January 2021 (click for link to Gov.UK)

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (click here for pdf copy)


- CCPI -Code for Construction Product Information (January 2021)

 click for more     Eleven (11) Robust Ways of Working 

 

"It has become even clearer, as more and more evidence emerges of ways in which building safety can be compromised by inappropriate product substitution, poor installation, inadequate classification, identification and guidance on use, and in a myriad of other ways. It is vital that we take action to rebuild confidence in the supply chain but that will only happen if practices change and the system becomes much more transparent."

"I urge the Construction Products Industry to embrace the poposed Code for Construction Product Informtion"

Dame Judith Hackitt DBE FREng January 2021

 https://buildingsafely.co.uk/the-code/

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Space Air (since 1980) is concerned and care to our industry and end users, that the action of Daikin and Cartel forced the  introduction of single component A2L class1 (flammable) R32 refrigerant in small AC & Heat Pumps, which can lead to bigger disaster than Grenfell Tower. (click to see more).

 

Three simple questions needs to be answered by any manufacturer who uses flammable materials or substance in euipment or building materials used in any sturcture of buildings or dewling when there are non-flammables1 available? :

a) WHY use flammable materials (including refrigerant in Air conditioning or domestic refrigerators, and as a blowing agent in foamed insulation) when there are over 90  A1 class non-flammable1 alternatives availabe?

b) WHY manufacturers like Whirlpool, Kingspan, Celotex, Arconic and Daikin (and their R32 Cartel), use A2/A2L & A3 class1 flammables when there are safer choices by using A1 class1 non-flammable refrigerants available since 1928?

c) WHY manufacturers like, Whirlpool, Kingspan, Celotex and Daikin (& their Cartel), not make it clear on their marketing materials (including sales leaflets & WEBSITES) that the products they sell, contains flammable materials? do not meet Advertising Standards Uthority (ASA) "The CAP Code - chapter 3" ?


references:

Refrigerant classification

There are over 300 types of refrigerants in THREE Safety Classifications with regards to flammability, in accordance with ISO 817:2014 (E) & ASHRAE34 International Standards. A1 class non-flammable, A2/A2L flammable & A3 Highly flammable.

Greenwashing

"Greenwashing is a deceptive form of marketing that claims a company's products, policies and goals are environmentally friendly and therefore do less damage to nature, with an underlying purpose to increase profits"

Blowing Agent

Blowing agent is a substance which is capable of producing a cellular structure via a foaming process in a variety of materials that undergo hardening or phase transition, such as polymers, plastics, and metals. They are typically applied when the blown material is in a liquid stage *Note: Use of class O materials is an old out of dated national product classification (see more). Must use BS EN 13501-1 (class A1 non-combustible and non-flammable or class A2 non-combustible but, flammable). (see UNEP - Fact sheet 

  

Business Cartel ; Daikin Industries/ Chemical have patented (aprox180 patents) A2L flammable R32 refrigerant used in small splits air conditioning equipment and licensed the patents to Japanese (such as Mitsubishi Electric, Fugitsu, Toshiba, etc), Korean (LG & Samsung) & Chinease AC manufacturers.

In the UK and some parts of EU Daikin have disctated that these licensed manufacturers  withdraw the sale of current A1 class non-flammable and should not display on marketing materials that R32 is flammable.

Daikin have also manipulate the EU qouta system (under revision due to abouse) to force higher (5 times the normal in 2017/2018) prices of A1 class using the GWP game and ignoring safety.  Daikin Europe control 29 F-gas EU quota (outoff aprox 200) of over 100 tonnes CO2 equivilant. 


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