Get It Off

In a chemical emergency, you can come in contact with (be exposed to) chemicals through breathing. If you have breathed in the chemical you should get away from the area and breathe fresh air.

You can also be exposed to chemicals splashed on your skin or into your eyes or by accidentally eating or drinking them (ingestion).

Once you get away from the area of the chemical release, you should get any chemical you came in contact with off your body as soon as you can. Do not worry about what type of chemical it is. Focus on getting it off. This is called decontamination.

  • If you swallowed the chemical, do not make yourself throw up and do not drink anything else.
  • To prevent health effects, it is important to get the chemical off your body as soon as possible, ideally within 10 minutes, by taking off all your clothes and showering.
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Page last reviewed: March 31, 2022