The definition of a chemical disaster sounds like this: a severe chemical accident that causes large-scale damage to an environment and/or injuries to or death of many animals, plants, or humans.
A shorter version is likely to look like this: life threatening to all forms of living cells, and to the elements of life.
Chemical accidents may originate in:
a. Manufacture and formulation installations including during commissioning and process operations; maintenance and disposal.
b. Material handling and storage in manufacturing facilities, and isolated storage; warehouses and goo-downs including tank farms in ports and docks and fuel depots.
c. Transportation (road, rail, air, water, and pipelines).
Among other causes, it worth mentioning: inappropriate hazard review or process hazards analysis, installation of pollution control equipment, use of inadequate or poorly designed equipment, wrong indications of process condition, warnings went unheeded. There are also some causes such as training and operator error.
For most major chemical accidents, it is rarely believed that the action or inaction of a single operator is the sole or even primary cause of an accident.
The Effects of a Chemical Disaster
The effects produced by a chemical disaster will primarily depend upon the nature of the accident (leak, spill, ´run away´ reactions including violent explosion and fire) and may vary from target to target.
Chemicals are known to evoke a wide spectrum of biological responses in man depending upon the extent of his exposure and their potential to interact with his anatomical structures and physiological functions. Adverse effects resulting from chemical disasters could be instantaneous death or disease clusters.
How to protect yourself during a chemical disaster
First of all, you should wear a protection suit, although gas masks are less effective. Second, you may build a protection room, where you can have food supplies and water storage. Specialists recommend Hughes Shelter Systems for a disaster relief shelter.
But, if you got caught in chemical disaster, you should immediately ask for medical treatment. Consider the possibility of making a phone call before appearing to avoid spreading the disease to others. Be psychologically ready for follow any indications you´re given. It is very important to act as soon as possible so that the disease will not affect all your organs.