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Chemical releases

Hazardous chemicals are sometimes accidentally released during manufacturing, storage or transportation, such as during a train derailment. Here are some things to consider when there is a chemical release.

Listen for official advice

Emergency responders are trained to identify hazards and provide appropriate guidance to the public. In some situations, you should seal yourself inside the building you are in (see Shelter-in-place). Other times, you may be instructed to go to higher elevations or evacuate the area. You'll want to have your emergency kit close at hand, in a portable container such as a duffel bag or suitcase with wheels.

In enclosed areas

If you suspect that a chemical substance has been released in a closed area such as a subway or building, try to avoid breathing any of the fumes and evacuate as quickly as possible. Immediately contact the closest police, fire and ambulance services. Decontamination might be required before you can receive medical attention. Heed advice from local officials.

Medical treatment

Exposure to a chemical substance may require quarantine and the attention of medical authorities. Because the type of chemical may not be known right away, treatment is based on symptoms. Keep track of things like breathing and heart rate, perspiration, dizziness, skin tone, deliriousness. Tell medical personnel and public health agencies about these or any other symptoms.