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Before I retired in October 2005, I ran the program in the U.S. DOT that monitored the compliance for hazmat packaging, including compressed gas cylinders. My inspectors went to companies that manufactured such packaging for compliance with U.S. regulations.
I note that the "Progress" link on the web site indicates that as of 2005 or 2006, they were about to begin production of "DOT approved" 20-lb. cylinders. If they are now on sale, one assumes they received that approval, but I am checking with my old mates to confirm this.
New packaging technology for hazmat is accommodated through a "special permit" program (used to be called an "exemption" program). New packaging has to meet or exceed current regulatory requirrments. If it does, it gets a special permit number that must be marked on the packaging. Those who have seen these cylinders should find a "DOT-SP" marking followed by four or five numbers. The old exemption program required "DOT-E" followed by four or five numbers.
Composite tanks have been around for years, and are widely used as dive tanks and oxygen tanks for fire fighters. Most also have a 15-year useful life, at which time they are supposed to be disposed of.
Last edited by SailinJay; 01-06-2007 at 02:58 PM.