Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Safety Alert

Unauthorized Compressed Gas Cylinders

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued an important safety alert to consumers who are considering the purchase of retail welding kits: The compressed gas cylinders enclosed in the kits are not authorized for use in the U.S.

These welding kit cylinders do not meet U.S. DOT specifications and are not authorized for hazardous materials service in the U.S. They have not been inspected nor tested for safety, potentially posing danger to individuals and property. Extensive property damage, serious personal injury, and/or death could result from a rupture of one of these cylinders.

Individuals and companies in possession of unauthorized welding kit cylinders are warned not to fill them with any hazardous materials. Filling unauthorized cylinders is punishable by civil penalty and/or criminal prosecution.

Characteristics of unauthorized welding kit cylinders include:
-The welding kits contain two high-pressure cylinders.
-Cylinders are stenciled with "Made in China" in white lettering on the side near the bottom.
-Cylinders do not have markings that identify their type or service pressure.
-Cylinders are similar in appearance to DOT 3A or 3AA and DOT 8A (steel) cylinders, which would commonly contain oxygen and acetylene used in oxyacetylene welding but do meet requirements for maintenance, retest and certification.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has notified directly more than 300 purchasers who obtained the equipment through an online buying service between July 2011 and August 2012.

Additional information and a copy of the letter that was sent to consumers