Environmental health practitioners help ensure that the proper controls are in place and are maintained to prevent chemical releases. When releases do occur, practitioners respond to limit human exposure and minimize the impact on the environment.
Because of terrorism concerns, practitioners must be prepared to respond not only to unintentional releases but to intentional releases as well.
This section provides key information on preventing and preparing for chemical releases.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Resources on Chemicals and Hazardous Materials – agency responsible for assessing the health of people living near hazardous waste sites
- Medical Management Guidelines – guidelines for healthcare professionals involved in acute exposures resulting from chemical incidents
- ToxFAQs – answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances
- Toxicological Profiles – detailed information about hazardous substances
CDC Chemical Emergencies – list of chemicals and toxicants of concern
CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Emergency Response Resources – emergency response topics
- Chemical Hazards Information – information for first responders about chemical agents
- Disaster Site Management – recommendations for supervisors and responders
- Emergency Responders – information about the different types of first responders
- Natural Disasters – recommendations for responders to natural disasters
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards – booklet containing information on industrial hygiene for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals
- Personal Protective Equipment – recommendations on personal protective equipment for first responders
- Terrorism Response – information for first responders about terrorism
Links to information from outside CDC
Environmental Practice and Response Fundamentalsexternal icon (University of Minnesota, Center for Public Health Preparedness) – online training to build skills needed by environmental health professionals to operate in different emergency situations
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)external icon – information about preparing for and responding to chemical releases
- Chemicals in Your Communityexternal icon – pamphlet of information you can use to build a snapshot of chemicals stored and released in your community
- Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) Informationexternal icon
- Emergency Responseexternal icon – links to the National Response System (NRS) of federal, state, and local officials
- EPA Envirofacts Data Warehouseexternal icon – tool to search for environmental information pertaining to specific areas
- EPA Enviromapperexternal icon – tool that maps various types of environmental information
- EPA Environmental Response Team (ERT)external icon – provides assistance for oil and hazardous material spills
- Technical Guidance for Hazardous Analysis, Emergency Planning for Extremely Hazardous Substancesexternal icon – guide that provides signs and symptoms of chemical exposure and what emergency treatment to perform
- Toxic Release Inventory Explorerexternal icon – tool to generate reports about toxic releases in specific areas
- Vulnerable Zone Indicator Systemexternal icon – tool to find whether an address (home, place of work, school) could be affected by a chemical release
- Preparedness Checklists and Toolkitsexternal icon – guidelines on emergency planning and management of hazards, especially useful to the environmental health professional.
- State and Local Guide 101: Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning pdf icon[PDF – 603 KB]external icon
- Chapter 6, Attachment C: Hazardous Materials pdf icon[PDF – 13 KB]external icon – emergency operations planning for hazardous waste
HazMat Transportation Incidents: Using the Emergency Response Guidebook (University at Albany, State University of New York, Center for Public Health Preparedness)external icon – ERG training increases public health workers awareness of hazardous materials being used in or transported through their communities
National Library of Medicineexternal icon – information about disaster and emergency preparedness and response grouped in related categories:
U.S. National Response Team (NRT)external icon – interagency organization responsible for coordinating emergency preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents:
- Developing a Hazardous Materials Exercise Programexternal icon – Handbook that provides state and local governments with practical advice to develop a hazardous materials exercise program
- Hazardous Materials Planning Guide 2001 Update pdf icon[PDF – 1.15 MB]external icon – guide to help local communities develop a hazardous materials community response plan
- Incident Command System/Unified Command Technical Assistance Document pdf icon[PDF – 472 KB]external icon – guide for the Incident Command System
Emergency Response Guidebookexternal icon – Provides responders with information to quickly identify the specific or generic classification of the hazardous material and how to protect themselves and the general public during the initial response phase.
Field Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook, 5th Ed.external icon (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense [USAMRICD])
Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook, 8th Ed. pdf icon[PDF – 12 MB]external icon (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID])
Medical Management of Chemical Casualties Handbook, 5th Ed.external icon (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID])