Government of Canada navigation bar

Symbol of the Government of Canada

Primary site navigation bar

Guide 157

 
GUIDE
157
SUBSTANCES - TOXIC and/or CORROSIVE (Non-Combustible / Water-Sensitive)
 
POTENTIAL HAZARDS

HEALTH

  • TOXIC; inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors, dusts or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death.
  • Reaction with water or moist air may release toxic, corrosive or flammable gases.
  • Reaction with water may generate much heat that will increase the concentration of fumes in the air.
  • Fire will produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
  • Runoff from fire control or dilution water may be corrosive and/or toxic and cause pollution.

FIRE OR EXPLOSION

  • Non-combustible, substance itself does not burn but may decompose upon heating to produce corrosive and/or toxic fumes.
  • For UN1796, UN1826, UN2031 at high concentrations and for UN2032, these may act as oxidizers, also consult GUIDE 140.
  • Vapors may accumulate in confined areas (basement, tanks, hopper/tank cars etc.).
  • Substance may react with water (some violently), releasing corrosive and/or toxic gases and runoff.
  • Contact with metals may evolve flammable hydrogen gas.
  • Containers may explode when heated or if contaminated with water.
PUBLIC SAFETY
  • CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
  • As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.
  • Keep unauthorized personnel away.
  • Stay upwind.
  • Keep out of low areas.
  • Ventilate enclosed areas.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

  • Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
  • Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
  • Structural firefighters' protective clothing provides limited protection in fire situations ONLY; it is not effective in spill situations where direct contact with the substance is possible.

EVACUATION

Spill

  • See Table 1 - Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances for highlighted materials. For non-highlighted materials, increase, in the downwind direction, as necessary, the isolation distance shown under "PUBLIC SAFETY".

Fire

  • If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE

FIRE

  • Note: Some foams will react with the material and release corrosive/toxic gases.

Small Fire

  • CO2 (except for Cyanides), dry chemical, dry sand, alcohol-resistant foam.

Large Fire

  • Water spray, fog or alcohol-resistant foam.
  • Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
  • Use water spray or fog; do not use straight streams.
  • Dike fire-control water for later disposal; do not scatter the material.

Fire involving Tanks or Car/Trailer Loads

  • Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles.
  • Do not get water inside containers.
  • Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
  • Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank.
  • ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.

SPILL OR LEAK

  • ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area).
  • All equipment used when handling the product must be grounded.
  • Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing.
  • Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
  • A vapor suppressing foam may be used to reduce vapors.
  • DO NOT GET WATER INSIDE CONTAINERS.
  • Use water spray to reduce vapors or divert vapor cloud drift. Avoid allowing water runoff to contact spilled material.
  • Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas.

Small Spill

  • Cover with DRY earth, DRY sand or other non-combustible material followed with plastic sheet to minimize spreading or contact with rain.
  • Use clean non-sparking tools to collect material and place it into loosely covered plastic containers for later disposal.

FIRST AID

  • Move victim to fresh air.
  • Call 911 or emergency medical service.
  • Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
  • Do not use mouth-to-mouth method if victim ingested or inhaled the substance; give artificial respiration with the aid of a pocket mask equipped with a one-way valve or other proper respiratory medical device.
  • Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
  • Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes.
  • In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • In case of contact with Hydrofluoric acid (UN1790), flush skin and eyes with water for 5 minutes; then, for skin exposures rub on a calcium/gel combination; for eyes flush with a water/calcium solution if available, otherwise continue with water for 15 minutes.
  • For minor skin contact, avoid spreading material on unaffected skin.
  • Keep victim warm and quiet.
  • Effects of exposure (inhalation, ingestion or skin contact) to substance may be delayed.
  • Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
 
 
 
 
Date Modified:
2012-08-08