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Hazardous substance releases

If you are aware of a toxic substance release, please report it to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Environmental Epidemiology Program (EEP) via one of the methods listed below. The DHHS may request additional information at a later time.
If you have additional questions about hazardous substances releases, please contact Us
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"Hazardous substance release" is a broad term that refers to an uncontrolled, illegal, or threatened release of one or more toxic substances. Hazardous substances can directly or indirectly enter organisms via consumption or inhalation. A hazardous (or harmful) substance release may be:
  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • Poisonous
  • Radiological
  • Flammable
  • Explosive
  • Corrosive
  • Medical

Hazardous releases may occur in a variety of ways:
  • Leaks
  • Spills
  • Vapor emission
  • Intentional dumping
Hazardous substance releases pose a wide range of risks to humans, wildlife, and the environment.
Hazardous substance releases can cause considerable damage to the environment, contaminating water supplies, polluting the air, contaminating plants and food, and destroying wildlife habitats. Human exposure to hazardous substances can result in disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions, physical deformities in a person or their offspring, or death. Proper cleanup in highly contaminated areas can require millions of dollars and take years to complete. After a site cleanup, the area must be reviewed to ensure there is no lingering public health risk. Therefore, tracking hazardous substance releases can help us have a faster response to such incidents and protect those at risk of exposure.
Utah Tracking collects reports on hazardous substance releases.
These reports include the substance released, number of victims, number of injuries, and types of injuries. Some of the substance exposures that have been reported are oxy-organics, acids, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrocarbons, chlorine, polymers, ammonia, agricultural chemicals and pesticides, bases, and more.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) helps keep Utah healthy and safe from hazardous substance exposures.
"Environmental Response and Remediation" and "Waste Management and Radiation Control" are the two main UDEQ divisions that help control hazardous substance exposures within Utah.

Utah Department of Environmental Quality- Environmental Response and Remediation
Utah Department of Environmental Quality- Waste Management and Radiation Control

Report an incident
For UDEQ's 24-hour report services, call (801) 536-4123 to report a significant or major environmental incident. For emergencies, call 911.

Click here to find direct phone numbers to divisions within the UDEQ.
Hazardous substance releases can occur at any time and in any place.
Regardless of where the release takes place, it puts the people, animals, and vegetation in the vicinity at risk. People in close contact with the hazardous substance, such as those who maintain or transport the substance and clean up crews, have a higher risk of being exposed.
Be cautious and always read the product labels before using household or institutional cleaning supplies.
The most common cleaning products that can be hazardous to humans and animals are bleach, ammonia, and acids. Never mix bleach with products that contain ammonia or acids. Bleach mixed with ammonia produces toxic gases called chloramines. Ammonia can be found in glass cleaners, interior and exterior paint, or in urine. Be careful when using bleach to clean diaper pails or cat litter boxes. Bleach mixed with an acid produces chlorine gas. Acid can be found in automatic dishwasher detergents and rinses, glass cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, vinegar, or lime, calcium, and rust removal products.

If bleach, chloramine, or chlorine gas exposure is suspected, quickly get to fresh air and call the Utah Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. For emergencies call 911.

Companies, communities, and individuals can prepare themselves for hazardous releases by planning ahead.
Due to the complex health implications of hazardous substance exposure, it is essential that all hazardous substances be properly handled, stored, and transported. When this does not occur, the risk of a substance release increases. Personal protection equipment (PPE) training, emergency communication, emergency response (HAZWOPER), risk assessments, and equipment maintenance are all part of preventing, responding, and controlling hazardous substance releases.

Regularly monitoring hazardous substance release data will allow Utah to:
  • Reduce injuries and death of first responders, employees, and the general public resulting from toxic substance incidents.
  • Describe the distribution of toxic substance incidents.
  • Describe the injury and death experienced by first responders, employees, and the general public.
  • Identify risk factors associated with the injury and death.
  • Develop strategies to reduce subsequent injuries and deaths.
  • Promote green chemistry.

Resources


Program websites

Hazardous substance release query module


Click here to view all available public queries and metadata for all secure portal queries.
Utah Tracking received hazardous substance release data from the Hazardous Substance Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) until the program concluded in 2009.
The Utah HSEES Program ended in 2009 and was replaced by the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP), which began in 2010. NTSIP was modeled partially on HSEES, with additions suggested by stakeholders to create a more complete program.

Utah Tracking received hazardous substance release data from the NTSIP system until the program concluded in 2015.
Utah NTSIP collected and analyzed information from many resources related to toxic substance spills and leaks. Utah NTSIP tracked toxic substance releases occurring in the state to reduce the number of incidents and to help experts plan their activities when a release did occur.

This data provided needed information to create prevention activities, which could decrease harm caused by toxic substance incidents. Knowing what kinds of toxic substances commonly exist in Utah, how and where they were released, and the effects they had on employees, responders, and the general public created opportunities to improve policies, procedures, and training for a cleaner, safer environment.

The Utah NTSIP collected the following data for each toxic substance release:
  • Time
  • Date
  • Day of the week
  • Location
  • Type of event (fixed-facility or transportation)
  • Factors contributing to the release
  • Specific information on those injured (age, sex, extent of injuries, distance from spill, population group, and type of personal protective equipment used)
  • Information about decontamination and orders to evacuate or shelter-in-place
  • Land use and population information to estimate the number of people at home or work who were potentially exposed
  • Who responded to the incident


*The NTSIP system concluded in 2015.

Click here to view complete metadata.
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://epht.health.utah.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 01 October 2022 7:50:28 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://epht.health.utah.gov ".

Content updated: Tue, 2 Aug 2022 12:10:41 MDT