Railroad accidents can have serious effects on the surrounding people and environment. When a train leaks chemicals, it poses a potentially harmful, and even deadly risk to people in close proximity to the chemicals.
One very dangerous chemical is Chlorine Gas. This has recently been found to have leaked out of railroad cars here in Lafayette, near Walker Rd.
Below is more information on Chlorine Gas.
Chlorine Gas is extremely harmful and can even be deadly. Sometimes Chlorine Gas can be released into a city because if a railroad accident or other industrial accident.Important Facts:Chlorine gas has been used by insurgents in Iraq incombination with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).Most people exposed to chlorine gas make a completerecovery; however, severe exposures can result in deathor permanent damage to the lungs and difficulty breathing.What is chlorine and how is it used?Chlorine is a yellow-green gas at room temperature. Itchanges to liquid when under pressure – for example incompressed gas cylinders. Chlorine gas is heavier than airand has a strong irritating odor like bleach. We are able tosmell chlorine at levels much lower than those levelsconsidered harmful.Chlorine is widely used in industry (notably in paper mills andchemical manufacturing plants), for disinfecting drinking waterand swimming pools, and in household bleach. When usedproperly and at appropriate levels, chlorine is a safe andeffective disinfectant.How can chlorine gas exposure occur?Most major occurrences of chlorine gas exposure haveoccurred as a result of the release of “bulk” chlorine, forexample in road or rail accidents involving chlorine gas tanks,or following damage to industrial facilities. Chlorine is animportant toxic industrial chemical (TIC) because it has beenintentionally used as a weapon during World War I and in IEDdetonations in Iraq. Chlorine gas or other caustic chlorinecompounds may also be released at dangerous levels in thehousehold following the mixing of bleach with ammonia oracids.What are possible immediate effects of exposure tochlorine gas?Chlorine gas is irritating and corrosive to the airways, eyes,and skin.The effects of chlorine gas exposure to your healthdepends on how long you were exposed, the amount you wereexposed, how it enters or impacts your body, and your body’sresponse to the chlorine.Relatively low levels of chlorine gas can cause sore throat, coughing, and eye and skin irritation, while higher levels can cause burning of the eyes and skin, nausea, temporary blindiness, difficulty breathing, and chestpain. At high enough levels, chlorine gas can cause immediate collapse and death. What can I do to limit or reduce exposure to chlorinegas?Emergency measures to limit exposure include rapidly movingas far away from the gas as possible.