Chemicals are a natural and important part of our environment.
Even though we often don't think about it, we use chemicals every
day. They can be found in our kitchens, medicine cabinets,
basements, and garages. Chemicals help us keep our food fresh and
our bodies clean. They help our plants grow and fuel our cars. And
chemicals make it possible for us to live longer, healthier lives.
Home Chemical Emergencies
A home chemical emergency arises when chemicals are used
improperly. Some chemicals that are safe, and even helpful in small
amounts, can be harmful in larger quantities or under certain
conditions. In fact, most chemical accidents occur in our own homes,
and they can be prevented.
Major Chemical Emergencies
A major chemical emergency is an accident that releases a
hazardous amount of a chemical into the environment. Accidents can
happen underground, on railroad tracks or highways, and at
manufacturing plants. These accidents sometimes result in a fire or
explosion, but many times you cannot see or smell anything unusual.
In the event of a major chemical emergency, you will be notified
by the authorities. To get your attention, a siren could sound, you
may be called by telephone, or emergency personnel may drive by and
give instructions over a loudspeaker. Officials might even come to