When a hazardous chemical has been released, it may harm people's health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident. They could also be planned, as in the case of a terrorist attack with a chemical weapon.
Some hazardous chemicals have been developed by military organizations for use in warfare. Examples are nerve agents such as sarin and VX. Many hazardous chemicals are used in industry - for example, chlorine, ammonia, and benzene. Some can be made from everyday items such as household cleaners.
Although there are no guarantees of safety during a chemical emergency, you can take actions to protect yourself. You should have a disaster plan. Being prepared can help reduce fear, anxiety, and losses.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)