Hazards: HazMats, Chemical Spills & Radiation

Threats: HazMats, Chemical Spills & Radiation

Hazardous Materials/Chemical Spills

We use hazardous materials in our homes and businesses every day. Small spills occasionally occur, but these incidents generally cause the public little difficulty other than traffic delays. In the event of a major spill authorities will instruct you on the best course of action, however you should heed the precautions listed below.

For poisoning incidents you can consult the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222, or visit Missouri Regional Poison Center.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

  • Stay upwind of the material if possible.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible if needed.
  • If there's an event indoors, try to get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area. Otherwise, it may be better to move as far away from the event as possible and shelter in place.
  • If exposed, remove outer layer of clothes, separate yourself from them, and wash yourself.
  • In some circumstances, after being exposed to hazardous materials, it may be necessary to be "decontaminated." Specially trained emergency personnel will perform decontamination procedures, which may include the removal of personal items and cleansing of exposed areas of the body. They will provide for medical attention if necessary.

Radiation Exposure

Small amounts of radiation are considered safe. In the unlikely event that St. Louis City became exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure:

  • If you are outside, get inside. Remove all clothing and wash thoroughly. According to the Center for Disease Control, removing clothing can eliminate up to 90% of radioactive contamination.
  • If there's an event indoors, try to get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area. If you cannot escape, it may be better to move as far away from the event as possible and shelter in place.

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

  • Time: Radioactive materials become less radioactive over time. Stay inside until authorities alert you the threat has passed.
  • Distance: The greater the distance between you and the source of the radiation the better. Authorities may call for an evacuation of people from areas close to the release.
  • Shielding: Put as much heavy, dense material between you and the source of the radiation as possible. Authorities may advise you to stay indoors or underground for this reason. Close and seal your windows and turn off any ventilation.

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