A chemical emergency occurs when a hazardous chemical has been released and the release has the potential for harming people's health. Chemical releases can be unintentional, as in the case of an industrial accident, or intentional, as in the case of a terrorist attack. Caution also must be taken with household chemicals. The Maryland Department of the Environment, in conjunction with local first responders, it the primary agency for handling chemical emergencies in Maryland.
Chemical manufacturers are one source of hazardous materials, but there are many others, including service stations, hospitals, and hazardous materials waste sites. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use, or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a hazardous material is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work, or play. The Maryland Department of the Environment, in conjunction with local first responders, it the primary agency for handling hazardous materials incidents in Maryland.
Evacuating means leaving the area that is affected by the potential hazard. Sometimes a chemical accident, such as an overturned tanker truck, will force people from their homes for health and safety reasons. If you are asked to evacuate, here's what to do:
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