Chemical Expert Witnesses Opine on Fire Caused by Acetone-Based Cleaner


Organic Chemistry Expert WitnessThis case involves an individual in West Virginia who sustained significant injuries in a fire caused by a common, acetone-based household cleaning product. The Plaintiff was using the product on the floor of her home when the cleaner suddenly ignited, causing serious and permanent injuries to the woman, as well as significant property damage. A comparable water-based product is also on the market, and it was alleged that the manufacturer of the cleaning product did not need to include the flammable compounds in order to maintain the effectiveness of the cleaner.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with the formulation of commercial acetone and water based solvents?
  • 2. Please explain your knowledge pertaining to similar household cleaning products, both water and petroleum based offerings.
  • 3. Have you ever published or lectured on this subject?
  • 4. Have you ever served as an expert witness?

Expert Witness Response E-004564

Expert-ID: E-004564

I am familiar with commercial cleaning products, such as those used for the removal of paint, coatings and adhesives. I have considerable experience in surface preparation cleaning products, both water-based and acetone-based. For over thirty years, I served as a director of R&D in the paint, adhesives and resin industries, where we manufactured and sold cleaning products as part of the overall product offerings. I have a PhD in organic chemistry, I am widely published in this field, and I hold numerous patents in coatings technology. I have worked on similar cases involving injuries due to hazardous materials in consumer and commercial products. I have experience in reviewing material safety data sheets, warnings on labels, and the reasonably intended use of these products.

Expert Witness Response E-007755

I am a professional chemical engineer familiar with mixtures of acetone, water, and other solvents. I work with a company that uses these mixtures in industrial processes, and I am cognizant of the relevant safety regulations and physical properties of concern, such as ignition points and flammability limits. I am very confident in my ability to address any issues the attorney may want to discuss.

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