FINAL REPORT - Releases of Chlorine Gas
A report on test releases of liquefied compressed chlorine was recently published by Utah Valley University. Known as 'Jack Rabbit Project', the multiagency chlorine release experiments were conducted in part to help emergency responders meet the planning, tactical and operational challenges of a catastrophic Toxic Inhalation Hazard release. The report can be found here.
Ammonium Nitrate Advisory
The USEPA, OSHA and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently published a chemical advisory for the Safe Storage, handling and Management of Ammonium Nitrate.
First Due Chemical Intelligence
LEMA / HMPD has available a free 2-hour fire department training program entitled First Due Chemical Intelligence (FDCI). It provides an overview on the chemical reporting and planning responsibilities of facilities that use, store or manufacture hazardous substances and how it impacts fire department preparedness. It answers some common questions such as why the fire department receives chemical reports from certain facilities, but not from others. And why certain chemicals are or are not reported.
The program is customized to the hosting fire department so that current reports and off-site plans can be reviewed for meaningful training. Every year the program is updated to reflect changes in chemical reporting and off-site planning. Periodic refresher programs are encouraged. If your fire department is interested in this program, contact Eric Bachman at
Globally Harmonized System (GHS)
OSHA recently adopted elements of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for chemical classification and labelling. These changes have been implemented into the OHSA Hazard Communication Standard and directly apply to employers that utilize hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
The changes include new hazard pictograms as well as an eventual transition from the now common-place Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheet (SDS). This will affect hazardous material recognition and identification competencies of emergency responders.
Below are two sources to improve your knowledge of the GHS. One is a Powerpoint presentation developed by and facilitated by the PA Department of Labor and Industry. The second is an article that recently appeared in a fire service on-line resource.