Current State of the chafing/Heating Fuel Industry
Prior to the introduction of ECOFLAME™ Heating Gel in 2000, all heating fuels utilized in the hospitality industry were petroleum or coal based and/or contained methanol (methyl alcohol) a gaseous, poisonous hydrocarbon. The emissions from each are highly toxic, are believed to be carcinogenic and extremely harmful to one’s health. The emissions from fossil fuels, such as coal, contain sulphur, arsenic, mercury and other pollutants. Emissions from oil or natural gas based fuels also contain dioxin. The resulting carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from all fossil fuels are the most significant of the greenhouse gases. Use of the existing chafing fuels in an area that does not provide special ventilation is life threatening: the used cans are classified as hazardous waste. Despite the serious consequences, we believe that neither of the latter two conditions is being observed.
A review of the labels of four of the most commonly used gel fuels, all of which are extremely toxic, alert the consumer to the following risks.
1) All bear the “skull and crossbones”, a symbol used as a warning of danger to life.
2) All state “poison, cannot be made non-poisonous”: “contains methyl alcohol ’’
3) All state “vapor harmful “, use only in well ventilated areas: May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed.
4) Contents toxic, if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through skin.
ECOFLAME™ is a safe, competitively priced, non-toxic, superior performing alternative fuel.
ECOFLAME™ heating products are an environmental breakthrough and represent the first ever, environmentally responsible alternative to the highly toxic, poisonous fuels which saturate the consumer and industrial markets. Sugar cane is a renewable resource, the ethanol is energy efficient and the containers are refillable and recyclable.
The container labels for the ECOFLAME™ Heating Gel products were approved by Food and Consumer Products Canada and Health Canada and are not required to include warnings or the “Skull and Crossbones” symbol. Contrary to the perception that exists with some consumers, wick fuels which are fuelled with Diethylene Glycol are also extremely toxic and its’ emissions are extremely harmful to one’s health. The Shell Chemical Company’s Material Safety Data Sheet # 5260-13 – Section 3 - Health Hazards: states “Highly toxic and may be fatal if swallowed. May cause CNS depression. The level of toxicity is increased when the chemical is exposed to high temperatures associated with a heating fuel application.”
It is industry knowledge that wick fuels are difficult to relight and consequently, it is often necessary to touch the wick. By doing so the skin is exposed. The absorption rate is excessive and the poisonous vapors in the wick will cause central nervous system depression. This warning is reinforced by a number of laboratory reports that cautions “Breathing of high vapour concentrations over long periods of time or frequent skin contact may cause damage to kidneys, liver and lungs. Exposure to extreme conditions, for example accidental exposure to hot fumes, can cause destruction of red blood cells.”
The current Material Safety Data Sheets issued by the more established manufacturers of wick chafing fuels include special warnings relating to “fetal damage” and reproductive risks.
Wick fuels do not produce sufficient BTUs to meet the minimum heat standards to maintain cooked food temperature safely. The used containers are not recyclable, are classified as hazardous waste but unfortunately, in many cases are not disposed of as such. An equally serious matter is the residual amounts of unused poisonous chemical that remain in the wick enclosed containers. On disposal in landfill sites, this toxic poison and the metal containers add to the pollution of the site and long term, contaminate the water tables and the environment.
We believe there is a very serious question of the corporate morality associated with the practice of continuing to purchase, sell, use, and to expose staff, the public and consumers to the health threatening emissions from poisonous fuels when a non-toxic, safe, clean, competitively priced, high performance Gel alternative is available.