Hazardous materials can include explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. Chemical agents are poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids and solids that have toxic effects on people, animals or plants. Emergencies can happen during the production, storage, transportation, use or disposal of hazardous materials. You are at risk when chemicals are used unsafely or released in harmful amounts where you live, work or play.
Signs of a chemical release include difficulty breathing, eye irritation, loss of coordination, nausea or burning in the nose, throat and lungs. The presence of many dead insects or birds may indicate a chemical agent release.