Chemical hazards

An attack with chemicals may happen suddenly. Signs of chemical release are: difficulty breathing, eye irritation, loss of coordination, nausea or burning in the nose, throat and lungs. The presence of many dead insects or birds might indicate the release of the chemical. They may be in the form of fumes, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on humans, animals or plants.


To prepare for chemical hazards devise a Family emergency plan.


What should you do during a chemical attack:
• If possible, try to determine quickly the area of impact or the chemical’s location
• Do your best to get away
• If the chemical is in the building you’re in, leave the building without passing through the contaminated area if possible
• If you can’t get out of the building or find clean air without passing through the affected area, move as far away as possible and find safe shelter
• If you have been instructed to stay at home or in an office building, you should:
o Close doors and windows and turn off all ventilation, air conditioners, vents and fans
o Seal the room with adhesive tape or foil
o Look for shelter as far away from windows and doors as possible
o Listen to the radio or television and wait for announcements and alerts from the authorities
• If the attack happens while you’re outside:
o Decide quickly what is the fastest way to find clean air
o Head for the wind source immediately
o Find the nearest building and get yourself safe


• Don’t leave the shelter to help others until the authorities announces that it’s safe
• Be especially careful when helping others who have been exposed to chemicals
• A person affected by a chemical factor requires immediate medical help from a specialist. If it’s not available, disinfect yourself and help to disinfect others

Procedures for decontamination are as follows:
• Remove all clothing and other items in contact with the body:
o Cut clothes normally taken off by the head to avoid contact with the eyes, nose and mouth
o Put dirty clothes and objects in a plastic bag and close tightly
o Take off your glasses or contact lenses. Place the glasses in a pan of household bleach to decontaminate them, then rinse and dry them
• Wash hands with the soap and warm weather
• Wash your eyes
• Gently wash the face and hair with soap and water and rinse thoroughly with water
• Go to a medical facility for examination and professional treatment