Hazardous Materials are defined as any substance which has been determined to be either a health hazard or a physical hazard to people.
You may be thinking to yourself, "We live in Teton County, what Hazardous Materials do we have here?" That is a very good question. Products that we use every day such as gasoline, household cleaners, propane, pool chemicals, and agricultural pesticides are only a few of the dangerous substances that you will find in Teton County. When used properly, these materials are helpful and make our lives easier. It is when they are either accidentally or purposefully misused that they become an issue.
Hazardous materials incidents can be very dangerous depending on the substance involved. It takes a very specialized and highly trained team to deal with the more dangerous substances. Also, dealing with and disposing of certain materials can be very difficult due to the potential environmental impact for years to come.
Here are some of the factors that can increase your risk of being involved in a hazardous materials incident.
Proximity to Hazardous Materials Facilities
These are the places where hazardous materials are either being loaded, unloaded, or produced. Although we don't have much large industry here in Teton County, we do have propane tank farms, gas stations, retail stores, and ranches where hazardous materials are used, sold, and disposed of every day.
Proximity to Hazardous Materials Transportation Routes
In Teton County, these would be the highways where fuel trucks, tractor trailers carrying mixed loads of cleaning supplies and other chemicals for retailers, or other carriers of hazardous materials are transporting their goods.
If Your Occupation Requires Working Near or with Hazardous Materials
If you work with chemicals, you are at a higher risk of being involved in a hazardous materials incident. You can ask your employer for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that pertain to the chemicals in your workplace. These sheets explain the hazards, necessary precautions, and first aid needed upon contact with the chemical.