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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 via one of the methods listed below. The Utah Department of Health may request additional information at a later time.
If you have additional questions about hazardous substances releases, please Contact Us
The term "hazardous substance release" is a broad term that refers to an uncontrolled or illegal release, or a threatened release of one or more toxic substances. After release into the environment and upon exposure, these substances can enter organisms via ingestion, inhalation, or assimilation; this can occur directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through the food chain (also called bioaccumulation). The results of hazardous substance exposure may cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions, or physical deformations in the organism itself or its offspring. Toxic substances include chemical, biological, radiological, and medical materials.
Hazardous substance releases pose a wide range of health risks to humans and the environment. Hazardous substance releases can cause considerable damage to the environment, such as contaminating water supplies, or harm human health, such as being exposed to toxic vapors. Areas that are highly contaminated with multiple contaminants can require millions of dollars and take years to properly clean up. After a site cleanup, the area must be reviewed to ensure there is no lingering public health risk.
Hazardous releases may occur in any number of ways, such as leaks and spills, vapor emission, and intentional dumping. Different substances impact health in different ways. A hazardous substance release may be biological, chemical, poisonous, radiological, flammable, explosive, or corrosive.
Hazardous substance releases can occur at any time and in any place. Therefore, wherever the release takes place puts the population in the vicinity at risk. People who must have close contact with the substance, such as those who maintain or transport it, as well as clean up crews, have a higher risk of being exposed.
Due to the complex health implications of hazardous substance releases, it is imperative that all hazardous substances be properly handled, stored, and transported. When this does not occur, the risk of a substance release increases. Companies, communities, and individuals can prepare themselves for spills by preparing beforehand. Personal protection training (HazMat), emergency communication, and 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 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
  • Fact Sheets and Pamphlets (PDF)


    Program Websites

    Hazardous Substance Release Query Module

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    The Utah EPHT Network receives hazardous substance release data from the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) system. NTSIP actively collects information to describe the public health consequences of acute (less than 72 hours) releases of hazardous substances in participating states. This indicator summarizes the characteristics of events reported in Utah.

    The Utah NTSIP collects and analyzes information from many resources related to spills and leaks of toxic substances. Utah NTSIP tracks toxic substance releases occurring in the state to reduce the number of incidents and to assist experts in planning their activities when a release does occur. NTSIP data provides needed information to create prevention activities, which can decrease harm caused by toxic substance incidents. Knowing what kinds of toxic substances commonly exist in Utah, how and where they are released, and the effects they have on employees, responders, and the general public will create opportunities of improved policies, procedures, and training for a cleaner, safer environment. NTSIP is modelled after the Hazardous Substance Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) Program (1990-2009). This change reflects a more comprehensive approach to reducing risks from toxic substances.

    The Utah NTSIP collects 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; and, who responded to the incident.

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    The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 22 May 2022 16:29:13 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

    Content updated: Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:53:16 MDT