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Shelf Life Management

Hazardous waste proliferation has become a serious Navy problem. HAZMAT harms the environment, is unsafe and difficult to handle, and disposal is extremely expensive. You can be instrumental in helping the Navy solve the problem by recognizing its seriousness and taking immediate action within your command to minimize the generation of hazardous waste.

All shelf-life material is either Type I or Type II:

Type I shelf-life items are materials that have a set expiration date, which cannot be extended. Once this date has passed, the material cannot be used for its intended purposes and can be turned into the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services (for resale or disposal).

Type II shelf-life items are materials that do not have a specific expiration date. The manufacturer typically will recommend that the item be re-evaluated on a particular date. The label will usually state a "Test" or "Re-Inspect" date. Type 2 shelf-life items can be extended providing the material is still viable or usable. There are no set standards for Type II shelf-life extension evaluation; often the best approach is to use common sense when examining the item. In-house inspections and tests will suffice for extension of most of your material. There is no single source of test information.

Locally developed instructions and old-fashioned common sense may be used. For most Type II materials, shelf-life extension tests are not complicated, do not require a laboratory, and can be done on the spot by anyone with a minimum of training. They are usually nothing more than visual checks for damage or deterioration.

The Defense Logistics Agency maintains a DoD Shelf-Life Program Extension Program (SLES) web page (Login required) that has access to a Quality Status List (QSL) which extends certain Type II Federal Stock Class (FSC) material. Included on the QSL are Federal Stock Classes (FSCs): 6635, 6750, 6810, 6840, 6850, 9110, 9150, and 9160. Directions for obtaining an entire list of items on the Extension List is also shown on the SLES site.

The General Services Administration (GSA) and all military services have developed separate storage standards. For example, shelf-life extension of paint can be accomplished according to the Federal Standard 793, "Depot Storage Standards". End users are authorized and encouraged to examine paint using FED-STD-793 guidelines or by using practical, end-use related tests to determine if the materials still meet their intended use. End users may extend the shelf life as long as the paint performs satisfactorily for their needs. Before disposing of paint, you are strongly encouraged to review FED-STD-793, paragraph 4. See NAVSUP P-485, Chapter 4, paragraph 4664 for further shelf-life material management guidance.

 

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