Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2011 11:43:02 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety"

Subject: Hazmat incident summary: Feb 2010 - April 2011

As DCHAS-L readers know, I have been tracking headlines related to 
hazmat events as reported by Google over the last year. I've had the 
chance to organize the raw data into summary information below. The 
purpose of this is to put into perspective trends in hazmat events, so 
that policy and planning can be informed by more complete data than the 
latest headline event. I don't consider this a particularly objective 
set of data, as the filters imposed by my available time, language (I 
only review headlines in English), and my interpretation of the 
information offered by the media outlet (which sometimes is clearly 
unreliable) are significant, but I do believe that this gives a sense of 
patterns associated with the public hazmat responses which make it to 
the press.

Since I'll be making a presentation based on this work at the ACS 
meeting in Denver this fall (there's still time for abstracts to be 
submitted - contact me for details), I'd be interested in people's 
questions and comments about the information below.

- Ralph 

=46rom February 1, 2010 to April 11, 2011:
Average 4.5 hazmat responses/day reported by Google
Ranges from 6.3/day in October 2010 or 2.3/day April 2010
No pattern evident over the course of the year

76% of the reports from the US
6% from UK
4% from India
4% from Canada
3% from Australia

Within the US, 
9% from California
7% from Texas
5% from Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio
5% from New York, Massachusetts
rest scatted among all other states

The sectors represented were:
industrial	726 events	38%
transportation	362 events	19%
home	240 events	12%
other (public settings, primarily)	210 events	11%
laboratory (all types) 	166 events	9%
illegal	143 events	7%
education (non-lab)	82 events	4%

The type of event:
release	55%
fire	23%
explosion	15%
discovery of a chemical in unexpected place	7%

Extent of the event:
response	73%
injury	21%
death	6%

Chemical Involved
some indication of identity, but not listed below	767	40%
chemical reported as unknown	255	13%
petroleum	134	7%
meth_lab	118	6%
acid	115	6%
ammonia	73	4%
solvent	61	3%
ag_chemicals	57	3%
wastes	55	3%
chlorine	53	3%
explosives	50	3%
pool_chemicals	38	2%
mercury	36	2%
cleaning_chemicals	34	2%

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.