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Chapter 23 Haz Mat Study Guide

Hazard Types

TRACEM: Thermal, Radiological, Asphyxiation, Chemical, Etiological/Biological, Mechanical.

Thermal Hazards

Elevated Temperature Materials: In a liquid phase at or above 212'F, Intentionally heated heated at or above its liquid phase flash point of 100'F, In a solid phase at or above 464'F.
Low Temperatures: Liquefied gases and cryogenic liquids (convert to liquids at or below -130'F) can freeze materials on contact.

Radiological Hazards

Types of Ionizing Radiation: Alpha (can be stopped by paper or skin), Beta (After traveling 20 feet, can be stopped by a layer of clothing or 0.08 inches of aluminum), Gamma (Can be stopped by 2 inches of lead, 2 feet of concrete, or several feet of earth), Neutron (More penetrating than gamma).
Types of Contamination: External, Internal, and Environmental.

Asphyxiation Hazards

Asphyxiants: Prevent the body from absorbing oxygen.
Simple Asphyxiants: Displace oxygen.
Chemical Asphyxiants: Prohibit the body from processing available oxygen.

Chemical Hazards

Poisons/Toxins: Cause injury at the site where they contact the body, Neurotoxins produce systemic effects in the nervous system.
Corrosives: Acids (pH less than 7), Bases (pH more than 8), can react violently when mixed with water.
Irritants: Cause temporary but sometimes sever inflammation.
Convulsants: Cause involuntary muscle contraction.
Carcinogens: PVC, Benzene, Asbestos, Arsenic, Nickel.
Sensitizers/Allergens: Cause allergic reactions.

Etiological/Biological Hazards

Viruses: Reproduce in the living cells of their hosts, do not respond to antibiotics.
Bacteria: Invade tissues or produce toxins.
Rickettsias: Bacteria spread by infected fleas, ticks, and lice.
Biological Toxins: Produced by living organisms, even if the organism is not harmful.
Biological Weapons: Smallpox (virus), Anthrax (Bacteria), Botulism (Toxin from bacteria).

Mechanical Hazards

Blast-Pressure Wave (Shock Wave): Causes most of the injuries and damage.
Shrapnel Fragmentation: Thrown outward in all directions.
Seismic Effect: Shock waves cause the ground to shake like an earthquake.

Routes of Entry

Contact: Damage occurs only at the surface.
Absorption: Enters through the skin or eyes.

Properties and Behavior

States of Matter: Gases (inhalation hazard), Liquids (Contact hazard).
Flammability: depends on flash point, autoignition temperature, and flammable range.
Vapor Pressure: Measures a substance's tendency to evaporate.
Boiling Point: Boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE).
Vapor Density: Less than 1, lighter than air (rises); Greater than 1, heavier than air (sinks).
Solubility: How well a substance mixes in water.
Specific Gravity: Less than 1, lighter than water (rises); Greater than 1, heavier than water (sinks).
Persistence: A chemical's ability to remain effective in the environment without dissipating.
Reactivity: Ability and ease of a substance to chemically react with other materials.

General Emergency Behavior Model (GEBMO)

1. Stress: Thermal, Chemical, or Mechanical.
2. Breach: Disintegration, Runaway Cracking, Attachments Open or Break, Puncture, or Split or Tear.
3. Release: Detonation, Violent Rupture (BLEVE), Rapid Relief, or Spill/Leak.
4. Dispersion/Engulf: Cloud, Cone, Hemispheric (Dome-shaped), Plume, Pool, Stream, or Irregular.
5. Exposure/Contact: Short-Term (Hours), Medium-Term (Months), or Long-Term (Generations).
6. Harm: Estimations should include a worst-case scenario.

Identifying Hazardous Materials

1. Locations and occupancies
2. Container types and shapes
3. Transportation placards, labels, and markings
4. Other non transportation markings and colors
5. Written resources
6. Senses
7. Monitoring and detection devices
The higher the number on this list, the more difficult to detect, and the more risk to firefighters.

Locations and Occupancies

Preincident surveys are the best and safest ways to determine. Terrorist Targets: Mass transportation, Critical infrastructure, Public assembly and recreation, High profile buildings, Industrial sites, Educational sites, and Medical facilities.

Container Types and Shapes

Bulk-Capacity Fixed-Facility Containers: Either Atmospheric (Below 0.5 psi) or Pressurized (0.5-15psi-above).
Bulk Transportation Containers: Tank and other rail cars (Railroad), Cargo tanks (Highway), Intermodal containers (highway, railroad, or marine vessel).
Intermediate Bulk Containers: Rigid or flexible portable packaging designed for mechanical handling.
Ton Containers: Contain chlorine, sulfer dioxide, anhydrous ammonio, or Freon (Structural PPE is not adequate protection).
Nonbulk Packaging: Bags, Carboys and jerrycans, Cylinders, Drums, Dewar flasks (cryogenic liquids)
Containers for Radioactive Materials: Type A, Type B, Type C (High activity materials, designed to withstand plane crashes), Industrial, and Excepted

Transportation Placards, Labels, and Markings

Regulated by U.S. DOT, Transport Canada, and Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transport.
Anhydrous Ammonia is flammable and an inhalation hazard as a concentrated gas (16-25%), and severely corrosive as a liquid.
DOT labels: 3.9-inch square-on-point diamonds which must have written text if it is a Class 7 Radioactive label.
Marking: a descriptive name, an identification number, a weight, or a specification.
4-Digit UN Identification Numbers: Each hazardous material is assigned a 4-digit number which is displayed on a placard and corresponds to a reference in an Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) which outlines initial actions to be taken at haz mat incidents.
Specification Plates: Display the standards to which the container was built.
Railroad Tank Car and International Intermodal Container Markings: Reporting Marks (Letters and numbers that are used to get information on the car's contents, Capacity Stencil (Shows the volume of the tank), and Specification Marking (Indicates the standards to which a tank car was built).

NFPA 704 System: Indicates the type of hazard, but doesn't specify the material. Health (Left), Flammability (Top), and Instability (Right) are rated from 0-4 (4 being the worst). Special hazards are indicated on the bottom (water-reactive or oxidizers).
Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System: Requires Safety Data Sheets (Contains information on specific chemicals).
Manufacturers' Labels and Signal Words: CAUTION (Minor health effects), WARNING (Moderate hazards), DANGER (Highest degree of hazard), POISON (In addition to DANGER on highly toxic materials).
Military Markings: When shipped by common carrier, not required to use DOT and TC markings.
Pipeline Identification: Use signal words, contain info about contents, and contact info.
Pesticide Labels: EPA regulations, must contain the name and a signal word, EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE if contents have a flash point below 80'F.

Written Resources

Shipping Papers: Air Bill, Bill of Lading (Highway), Trainlist/Consist, Dangerous Cargo Manifest (Water).
Safety Data Sheets (SDSs): Based on a Globally Harmonized System (GHS), Contains detailed information prepared by the manufacturer.
Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG): For use by emergency services personnel who are the first to arrive on scene of a transportation incident involving HazMat on a highway or railroad, Quickly identify the hazards of a material and protect themselves and the general public.


Never use your senses to detect hazardous materials.
Physical Actions: Do not change the materials' elemental composition (liquid to gas)
Chemical Reactions: Convert one substance to another (Extraordinary fire conditions).
Natural Gas: Normally odorless, Mercaptan added to make it detectable by smell.
Olfactory Fatigue: Some toxins can make you unable to detect odor soon after initial exposure.
If you are close enough to smell or taste a hazard, you are too close to be safe.

Monitoring and Detection Devices

Can only be effective when in actual contact with the material. Combustible gas indicators and multigas meters can determine the presence and concentration of hazardous materials.

Terrorist Attacks and Illicit Laboratories
Illicit Clandestine Laboratory: Produces illegal or controlled substances.
Toxic Industrial Material (TIM): Toxic chemical that is produced in large quantities of at least 30 million tons per year at a single facility.

Terrorist Attacks

Chemical Attack Indicators: SLUDGEMM (Salivation, Lacrimation, Urination, Defecation, Gastrointestinal upset, Emesis, Miosis, Muscular Twitching), DUMBELS (Bronchospasm).
Biological Attack Indicators: Victims dispersed over a wide area, Delayed vague and flu-like symptoms, No observable features.
Radiological Attack Indicators: Dispersal may be by a radiological dispersal device (dirty bomb), Material that is hot without an external heat source, Glowing material.
Nuclear Attack Indicators: Mushroom cloud, Powerful explosion, Electromagnetic pulse (EMP; cause voltage and current surges which damage electronic systems).
Explosive/Incendiary Attack Indicators: Most common terrorist attacks, Accelerant odors, Multiple fires or explosions, Incendiary/explosive device components.

Illicit Laboratories

Drug Labs: Most common type of lab, About 80-90% produce methamphetamine, May contain water-reactive chemicals, For every pound of meth produced, about 6 pounds of hazardous waste is generated.
Chemical Labs: Produce chemical warfare agents, Use chemicals that are not used to make drugs (organophosphate pesticides, cyanides, acids).
Explosive Labs: Second most common lab, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) do not require technical expertise or specialized equipment and the materials are cheap and easy to purchase.
Biological Labs: Use specialized materials and equipment such as microscopes, antibiotics/vaccines, and PPE (HEPA filters).

Secondary Devices and Booby Traps
Secondary Attacks: Used to create chaos or to divert responders away from the primary attack area, Perform a visual search for suspicious items before moving into the incident area.
Booby Traps: Set to protect illicit laboratories, do not turn on or off lab equipment, leave electrical pumps turned on to prevent overheating.

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