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
- Chemical Emergencies Overview (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Are You Ready? An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness (Department of Homeland Security) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Chemical Agents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Chemical Agents: Facts about Evacuation (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Chemical Agents: Facts about Sheltering in Place (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Chemical Agents: Personal Cleaning and Disposal of Contaminated Clothing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Chemical Emergency (American Red Cross)
- Household Chemical Emergencies (Department of Homeland Security)
- NIOSH-Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
- Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ToxFAQs (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)
- TOXNET: Toxicology Data Network (National Library of Medicine) - Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and related areas
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Injuries from Methamphetamine-Related Chemical Incidents - Five States, 2001-2012.
- Article: A decision support framework for characterizing and managing dermal exposures...
- Article: Exposures and symptoms among workers after an offsite train derailment...
- Chemical Emergencies -- see more articles