AristaTek, Inc. Releases Written Brief on Explosion, Fireball and Toxic Plume Threats from Acrylonitrile

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Aristatek, Inc, a leading provider of hazardous materials planning and response solutions, has prepared a written brief detailing the consequences of vapor cloud explosions, fireballs and toxic plumes for various quantities of acrylonitrile.

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We are proud to continue to provide free resources to the emergency planners and responders tasked with protecting our communities.

The company will make this brief available at no cost to Hazmat teams, fire departments/fire marshals, sheriffs, LEPC/EMA officials or any other public safety/health professionals to assist in their responsibility to protect their communities. The document is available to those that visit the Company’s web site at

This ‘Acrylonitrile Brief’ was written to help with planning and response to accidents involving acrylonitrile. Acrylonitrile is a flammable liquid used in the manufacture of resins and plastics. On July 2, 2015, 5,000+ people were awakened and evacuated during the middle of the night due to a train derailment and fire near Maryville, Tennessee (Blount County). A railcar carrying acrylonitrile was derailed and caught fire releasing toxic black smoke including hydrogen cyanide. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for everyone within a 1.5 mile radius of the fire. The fire was extinguished almost 24 hours later.

“Acrylonitrile is probably not a substance on the minds of many emergency planners and responders,” stated Bruce King, CEO of AristaTek. “However, after the recent accident in Tennessee involving the substance, questions started coming in from our customers about this substance and they wanted more information.”

Acrylonitrile presents several hazards when it is spilled in the environment and the brief summarizes these hazards in useful tables. The first hazards happen when spilled acrylonitrile vaporizes, contacts an ignition source, explodes and also rapidly burns in a fireball. The resulting hazards are an explosion whose blast is measured in overpressure, and the fireball which has a burn hazard for those standing too close. The other hazard is an inhalation hazard associated with an evaporating pool of spilled acrylonitrile. The tables offer safe-standoff distances for various quantities of spilled acrylonitrile for all three hazards.

“We prepared the tables of hazards using our flagship PEAC-WMD software,” continued King. “We are proud to continue to provide free resources to the emergency planners and responders tasked with protecting our communities.”

This latest technical brief from AristaTek is their first since their popular brief titled entitled ‘Hazards Associated with Spilled Crude’ which was released in January 2015.

About AristaTek

Formed in 1999 by four chemists and engineers who conducted field scale research studies at the Nevada Test Site’s Hazmat Spill Center (HSC) mandated by the 1986 Superfund and Reauthorization Act (SARA) and the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) during the 1990’s, AristaTek has become a leading provider of CBRNE and HAZMAT response and planning solutions to the civilian and military market. PEAC-WMD™, AristaTek’s leading software product, assists in response efforts by consolidating CBRNE & HAZMAT technical reference sources and automating stand-off distance modeling and communication of incident data. The PEAC® software is the industry-standard in the CBRNE & HAZMAT response community, supporting critical CBRNE units such as the National Guard Civil Support Teams (CST), the United States Air Force (USAF) and countless civilian responders worldwide. AristaTek is a certified HUBZone business. For additional information, visit

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C. Scott Bunning
AristaTek, Inc
+1 (307) 721-2108 Ext: 812
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