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Why Control Air Bags?
Published December 04, 2006 by Fraunhofer Institut Chemische Technologie in Germany
Event: Airbag 2006
This is my 8th poster to be presented at AIRBAG2000PLUS on the subject of the problems of regulating the transport, storage and handling of airbags.
Initially, I stated that national and international regulations as applied to air bags were causing delays and high costs to shippers and I suggested that industry should liaise more closely with authorities and international organizations in order to resolve these problems.
Because I was involved in the development of the United Nations (UN) Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods ("Orange Book") on which transport regulations were based and in the development of standards on which other regulations were based, I understood the difficulties of applying these regulations to air bags and I soon realized that these "approval" regulations were flawed when applied to air bags. Transport regulations based on the UN Recommendations in which packaged products are classified according to their hazard in a fire ("CLASSIFICATION") may be OK when dealing with military explosives, e.g., bombs and ammunition, but are confusing when applied to packaged air bags whilst the lack of an international standard by which the quality of an air bag could be judged ("AUTHORIZATION") also caused confusion.
The proposal to UN for a non-explosives classification (UN Class 9) based on results of bonfire tests should have resolved classification (i.e., transport and storage) problems whilst an interim "quality" standard based on tests proposed in discussions @ ISO and UN-GRSP could have resolved other authorization-type problems, including handling, fitting and disposal.
The non-explosive classification of air bags has reduced transport costs and delays but it has resulted in loss of control by explosives authorities. In my presentation I will discuss the above problems and propose ways by which packaged air bags can be safely transported and stored and by which unpackaged air bags can be safely handled, fitted, recycled, etc.
I will also propose methods by which the reuse of air bags can be controlled and how material from regulated air bag disposal can be used in research and testing.
Hopefully, interest shown by attendees, including the media, of my presentations at ICT AIRBAG2004, will result in progress in the control of air bags and in the development of stronger consumer safety legislation on the sale of used cars.