The Charlotte Pesticide Fire occurred on 18th August 1993. Before the fire, the plant workers of Rhone-Poulenc AG Co. were involved in pesticide production. During the fire twenty-one, people were injured in the incident where the workers were sheltered in place. The county officials brew the sirens to warn residents within a mile away to remain indoors. The fire involved hydrochloric acid, methyl isobutyl ketones, dimethyl disulfide, and chloro acetaldoxime (Cashman 67). After the fire, the Hazardous Materials Response Teams were involved in saving the remaining life and neutralizing the remaining exposed chemicals to avoid more harm to the human fraternity.
704 fire occurred before the pesticide fire where similarly over thirty people were seriously injured. The fire also involved some chemicals such as chloro-acetaldoxime, methyl isobutyl ketones, and methyl isocyanate. There was more explosion from these chemicals, which polluted the air in the area within. Most of the individuals within a mile away were affected by the fire as a result of the contamination of air and water.
As covered in class, HAZMAT is the abbreviation for the hazardous materials. These involve the substances that pose some reasonable risk to the human health, environment or the property. HAZMAT include substances such as fuels, radiological, toxic chemicals, chemical, biological, and nuclear waste agents (Ackermann 7). The Charlotte Pesticide Fire released toxic chemicals due to the chemical involved that polluted the environment. However, the county officials took some precaution of raising an alarm to the population a mile away to stay indoors to avoid being affected by the toxic smoke.
Lesson from Charlotte Pesticide Fire
I have learned that fire emanating from chemical industries are usually very dangerous. These are because it does not only affected those in the firm but whoever is near the firm. Numerous hazardous materials are released such as toxic smoke that affect the environment and other chemicals that have long-term effects on the population. Hence, people need to be evacuated from the area when incidents like that of Charlotte Pesticide Fire occurs.
Points Related to HAZMAT
When making efforts to put off the fire in a firm dealing with chemicals, it is very important to wear the hazmat suits. The hazmat teams should have the suit to protect them not only from the fire but from various hazardous materials like toxic gasses released, radiological materials and other chemicals that may have been released. The suit ensures one's safety while trying out to save other people's lives.
The improvements made after the Charlotte Pesticide Fire were mainly in responding to such fires. The response should be made when an outbreak occurs where the people around should stay indoors. The evacuation teams such as the hazmat teams should then evacuate the people nearing the fire source safely. During these processes, they should have the hazmat suits to prevent them and who they are saving from getting into contact with the hazardous materials.
In is evident that Charlotte Pesticide Fire was a big incident that caused injuries to many people. However, it has helped the firefighters to learn from it where some improvements to fight away fire that involves chemicals are done. Fire resulting from chemicals causes not only burns but also releases some dangerous materials that are not friendly to the environment. Such materials include toxic gasses that pollute the air and water around. Therefore, the alarm should be raised to the community around the source of the fire where evacuation of people should be done faster. The fire response teams should always be ready.
- John R. Cashman. Hazardous Materials Emergencies: The Professional Response Team. CRC Press. 1995. ISBN: 1566763223. Pp. 46-152.
- Ursula A. Ackermann. Epidemiologic Analysis of an Environmental Disaster: The Pesticide Fire Experience. Volume 58, Issues 1-2. August 1992. Pp. 1-14.