Compassion for Life/Disaster Relief Servants
WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF A HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL EMERGENCY
HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL EMERGENCY
Nearly every household uses products that contain hazardous materials. While the risk of a chemical accident is slight, knowing how to handle these household chemicals and how to react during and emergency can reduce the risk of injury.
THE SYMPTOMS OF POISONING INCLUDE:
- Difficulty breathing.
- Irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or respiratory tract.
- Changes in skin color.
- Headaches, blurred vision, or dizziness.
- Clumsiness or lack of coordination.
- Cramps or diarrhea.
The best way to protect you and your family from household chemical emergencies is to use the L.I.E.S. procedure:
- L. Limit the amount of hazardous materials in storage.
- I. Isolate products in approved containers and store them inside enclosed cabinets that are protected them from sources of ignition. Use child safety latches on cabinets where the chemicals are stored when small children are in the household.
- E. Eliminate products that are no longer necessary by disposing of them properly.
- S. Separate incompatible materials like chlorine and ammonia for example.
Be sure to read the labels on any product and follow all safety precautions recommended by the manufacturer to limit accidents and injury.
TO ENSURE THE SAFE HALDLING OF CHEMICALS, YOU SHOULD:
- Read all directions before using a new chemical product. Be sure to store household chemicals according to the instructions on the label.
- Store chemicals in a safe, secure location, out of the reach of children.
- Avoid mixing household chemicals products. Deadly fumes can result from the mixture of chemicals such as chlorine bleach and ammonia.
- If you spill a chemical, clean it up immediately with rags. Be careful to protect your eyes and skin, wear gloves and eye protection, if at all possible. Allow the fumes in the rags to evaporate outdoors, then dispose of the rags by wrapping them in a newspaper and placing them in a sealed plastic bag in your trash can.
- Post the number of the nearest poison control center near all telephones (1-800-222-1222). In an emergency situation you may not have time to look up critical phone numbers.
- Learn to detect hazardous materials. Many hazardous materials do not have a taste or an odor, and some can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea. Other hazardous materials exist beneath the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance.
- Learn to recognize the symptoms of poisoning.
WHAT TO DO DURING A HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL EMERGENCY:
- If a poisonous substance is consumed, find any containers immediately. Medical professionals may need specific information from the containers to provide the best emergency advice.
- Call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 and, if directed, 9-1-1 or local emergency number. Follow the emergency operator or dispatcher’s instructions carefully. Do not give anything by mouth until medical professionals have advised you.