The Dangers of Pressurised Containers


Pressurised containers put our chemists at risk from being hit by lids and bungs or being showered with chemical substances as they are ejected with considerable force when opening to check and sample contents.

Pressurised containers could explode in the warehouse, causing injury to staff and damage to our site from flying debris and chemicals, or could rupture during transit causing an environmental incident and risk to the public for which you, the producer, would be held liable. 


Pressurisation of containers can be attributed to the following causes:

  • Over filled containers (no ullage space)
  • Contents expanding with heat
  • Contents (especially mixtures) reacting together as they increase in temperature and/or are agitated during transport
  • Natural degradation of products (e.g. hydrogen peroxide or hypochlorite)


To reduce the likelihood of a drum pressurising, take the following precautions:

  • leave ullage space in liquid containers in accordance with ADR When filling at an ambient temperature of 15oC, please observe the following table:

 when filling at an ambient temperature of 15oC

  • Check on stored drums regularly. Loosen the bungs and lids to allow pressure out, then re-seal.
  • If checked drums appear overfull, decant some out to leave ullage space.

If you would like to talk to us further regarding the issues above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with  

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