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Hazardous materials, more commonly referred to as chemicals, are used regularly in our daily lives. A hazardous material is any solid, liquid, or gas that can cause harm to humans and other living organisms. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. They are used to grow our food, clean our homes, fuel our cars, and purify our water, which means we have to be careful about how we use and store these chemicals. Read the information below to learn more about the proper usage and storage techniques.
Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poison and radioactive materials. Varying quantities of hazardous materials are manufactured, used or stored at an estimated 4.5 million facilities in the United States ─ from industrial plants to dry cleaning establishments or gardening supply stores. Do you know what, if any, facilities exist in your community?
Chemicals can also be hazardous to the environment if used or released improperly. These materials are transported daily by highways, railroads, waterways, and pipelines. Colorado has a diverse network of roadways that are authorized to transport them. These restricted routes are coordinated through the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol.
Accidents can occur during the production, storage, transportation, use or disposal of hazardous materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in plants, which is why it's important that you're aware of the chemical facilities in your area. Explore the information below to learn more about hazardous materials and the steps you can take to stay safe.
If you are asked to evacuate:
If you are caught outside:
If you are caught in a motor vehicle:
If you have been requested to stay indoors:
References, Resources and More Information:
Banner photo courtesy of FEMA/Win Henderson