Case Study: Hazardous Materials Transaction

January 28, 2022

The following story* describes how using the Hazardous Materials Transaction alerted an officer of a potentially dangerous situation.

“Officer Rojas responded to a call that a semitruck carrying chemicals had flipped on the highway and caught fire. When she got to the scene, after she ensured that all individuals were safely removed from the vehicle, she noticed a chemical barrel had rolled out of the truck and was beginning to leak onto the pavement. The UN Number on the barrel was completely unreadable, but she managed to make out the letters ‘Brom’ and ‘Acid’ below it.

Dispatch ran BROM%ACID in the Chemical Name field using the Nlets Hazardous Materials Query**, and from the results, Officer Rojas could tell definitively that the name of the chemical was Bromoacetic Acid and its UN Number was UN1938.

Then Dispatch ran UN1938 in the UN Number field which provided results from the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that said that the chemical was toxic, so it was critical to establish a ½ mile perimeter in all directions and call the National Response Center immediately. Officer Rojas immediately alerted all nearby personnel, and they moved to a safe distance away from the spill.”

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*Please note that the story is fictional, but the use of the transaction is portrayed accurately.

** For additional information on the Hazardous Materials Query, please refer to the Nlets Wiki.