Definition of a Hazardous Materials Emergency
Any time a chemical escapes from its container in a manner in which it was not supposed to be, a hazardous
materials emergency could happen. When this happens people, animals, property, and the environment (air, water, and soil) might become contaminated with the hazardous material.
Reasons for Chemical Escapes
A chemical may escape from a container for several reasons:
- A container might leak because it is old and worn out
- A container could be damaged in a traffic accident, be dropped, or bumped hard while being moved
- A container could have an improperly closed valve
- A container could have been purposefully left open to hurt other people, animals, or the environment
For details on hazardous materials used in your area, how to plan for hazardous materials emergencies, and how to control such emergencies, please download the Hazardous Materials Emergency Packet (PDF).