We use hazardous materials in our homes and businesses every day. Small spills occasionally occur, but these incidents generally cause the public little difficulty other than traffic delays. In the event of a major spill authorities will instruct you on the best course of action, however you should heed the precautions listed below.
For domestic incidents you can consult the Poison Control hotline at 1-212-POISONS (1-212-764-7667), visit NYC's Poison Control Center, or visit 311 Online.
- Stay upwind of the material if possible.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible if needed.
- If there's an event indoors, try to get out of the building without passing through the contaminated area. Otherwise, it may be better to move as far away from the event as possible and shelter in place.
- If exposed, remove outer layer of clothes, separate yourself from them, and wash yourself.
- In some circumstances, after being exposed to hazardous materials, it may be necessary to be "decontaminated." Specially trained emergency personnel will perform decontamination procedures, which may include the removal of personal items and cleansing of exposed areas of the body. They will provide for medical attention if necessary.