Hazmat

First-Due Companies at Hazardous Materials Incidents

Issue 11 and Volume 163.

BY JEFF CHANDLER Regarding hazmat response, first and foremost, know your first-due area. Are there any industrial occupancies that store chemicals used to make consumable commodities or for other industrial purposes? If so, know what they are and where they are stored in the facility. These raw chemicals can produce the harmful effects described in their material safety data sheets (MSDSs). Because such chemicals are typically concentrated and in large quantities, exposure to even small quantities can cause harmful effects. In contrast, in a residential setting, you will encounter materials that are sold to the general public. Although these commodities may include some nasty materials, they are typically not in concentrations that pose a great risk and are contained in small nonbulk packaging, which further lessens the magnitude of potential exposure. Generally, however, remember that the public may be careless in handling dangerous materials and can also be quite litigious.…

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