International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Accidental Chemical Releases and Local Emergency Response: Analysis Using the Acute Hazardous Events Data Base

Document Type

Article

Abstract

An Acute Hazardous Events Data Base (AHE/DB) has been developed that codifies the characteristics of over 11,000 accidental releases of toxic chemicals in the United States, primarily from 1980 to 1986. Initially developed as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's response to the 1984 toxic chemical release in Bhopal, India, the AHE/DB has been adapted into a tool for use in Community-Right-to-Know (CRTK) applications. Analysis using the AHE/DB for such purposes has indicated that: (1) releases of highly toxic chemicals do appear to lead to more serious consequences, thereby supporting the current CRTK approach of grouping chemicals according to their toxicity properties; and (2) fires or explosions have been significant contributing fac tors in most of the serious accidents in the United States and abroad (the chemical accidents at Bhopal and Seveso represent significant exceptions to this general rule). The latter finding indicates that the role of fires and explo sions, as well as that of toxicity, requires emphasis in the local emergency-plan ning process. © 1988, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Organization & Environment

Publication Date

1-1-1988

Volume

2

Issue

2

First Page

139

Last Page

170

ISSN

1086-0266

DOI

10.1177/108602668800200204

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