“Rat-eaten leaking LPG pipe leads to explosion at Tonca”, Goa, India
“Rat-nibbled gas pipe triggers explosion, 5 of family injured”, Pune, India
“Rodents Triggered Fatal Blast” a headline published in The Official Critter Control Newsletter during the fall of 2007
Every year, myriad such cases are reported. These common headlines flooding the newspapers, which often get unnoticed, raise a great question about rodents being a threat to human life. The answer is yes!
Rodents are characterized by a single pair of unremittingly growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws and about forty percent of all mammal species are rodents which are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. There are about 4000 species of rodents, which includes rats, mice, porcupines, guinea pigs, hamsters etc. Most rodents have short tough bodies, short limbs and long tails. They use their sharp incisors to gnaw food, excavate burrows and defend themselves.
Rodents have a great affinity for plastics and polymers because of their sweet smell, also they like the texture of the PVC to sharpen their teeth. The continuous chewing and gnawing of the rodents, in particular rats, have led to numerous gas blasts due to damage caused by them in the gas pipelines. Gas pipelines are made up of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and plastics which attract rodents by its smell and inviting texture to nibble upon.
There have been several notable incidents of gas blasts caused by rodent damage in the world.
Ten flats, located in the Kamat Complex – Phase II, Tonca, India were damaged following an explosion that occurred due to LPG that leaked from a stove connecting pipe , however, no casualties were reported. The LPG company officials found that the connecting pipe was eaten up by rats. Jeston Silveira , who resides in the flat along with his dog, suffered heavy damages due to the explosion. The loss reported was about Rs 40 lakh. A part of the kitchen wall of the flat collapsed following the explosion while a section of the two-storey residential building – three flats, also suffered damages, the loss due to which was put at Rs 4 lakh. The intensity of the explosion was such that it led to the damage of the main doors and window panes of the six flats located in the neighboring block situated some 50 meters away from the block where the blast took place.
Another news headline, which took the limelight, was the explosion in North Shields which killed an old woman, in her eighties in 2007. RATS gnawed through a pensioner’s kitchen pipes, causing a colossal gas explosion. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation suggested that rodents were responsible for chewing a hole in the gas pipes leading to the hob and oven. The leak created a “perfect” mix of gases in the couple’s home, making explosion inevitability.
In Pune (2013) India, five members of a family suffered burn injuries in an explosion caused due to a cooking gas leak as a result of nibbling by rats. The gas had leaked through a 2mm hole on the rubber tube that a mouse had nibbled. The poorly ventilated kitchen added to the explosion’s intensity. “The explosion blew off the roof and doors of the two-room house and caused severe damage to the property and household items”, quoted the crime inspector. The blast affected five people in the family, including a couple and three children. Later, the oil marketing company confirmed that the explosion was caused due to leakage of cooking gas which occurred as the rubber tube was bitten by a mouse.
From all the above, one thing can be made really certain. The pipes have to be made rodent resistant. The use of conventional fumigants, rodenticides is no longer considered to be an effective solution to get rid of the rodent infestation as these rodents are becoming increasingly resistant to them, the traditional baits and traps are also proving to be useless. Therefore, we are in an urgent need of an infallible plan to combat the problem of increasing number of rodents.
There is 100% efficient solution available with CTech Corporation. We have come up with a unique product known as Combirepel™. Combirepel™, a nontoxic and nonhazardous rodent and insect aversive can be incorporated in the gas tubing and pipelines, hindering the rodents from attacking them. It is an anti-rodent and anti-insect additive specially developed for a range of polymeric and coating applications including pipes, wires and cables films. It can be incorporated into nearly all base polymers like HDPE, LDPE, PVC, PE etc.
The mechanism followed by our product is repellence by attacking their olfactory senses and it does not kill the target species. The products do not interfere with the working of the end application it is used in. They are stable at high temperatures; they do not leach out or produce any toxic fumes and have a long shelf life of up to 50 years as per the application.