Chemicals In Your Community
Extremely Hazardous Substances
Some chemicals are more dangerous to human health and the environment if there is a release. These chemicals are known as Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS). When a chemical is classified as an EHS it has higher toxic or damaging effect and is regulated in smaller quantities. Examples of EHS are chlorine and ammonia. When used properly and in a safe manner these products can be used safely in industry and homes every day. During an accident or unplanned release, these chemicals can do extensive damage to human health and the environment. That is why these chemicals have special reporting requirements and facilities that maintain them have special responsibilities.
When is a chemical a hazardous material?
The Occupational, Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) identifies how a chemical becomes classified as hazardous. Any chemical that creates a health hazard to humans of any kind is classified as hazardous. Health hazards can be from immediate contact with the material or through long exposure to the substance. Chemicals that burn, explode or can start burning by themselves are classified as hazardous. Also classified as hazardous are chemicals that react with air, water or other chemicals to form heat or toxic gases.
The way chemicals are stored can also classify them as hazardous. Gases that are stored under high pressure, such as oxygen, are not an immediate threat to anyone. But if the container is ruptured, damaged or involved in a fire the container can become a deadly missile or an explosion hazard. Some chemicals are stored at very high temperatures and others can be stored in cryogenic or very cold temperatures. With those storage methods the risk of burns, fires and even frostbite are present if there is an accident.
Public Availability of Hazardous Material Information
Pursuant to Section 324 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) , information about hazardous materials in Wayne County Ohio is available to the public upon request during normal working hours at:
Wayne County Emergency Management Agency
201 W. North St. Wooster Ohio 44691