Be aware of the quantities!
The CDC proposes a general framework and standard procedure to follow:
Incidents from different countries were referred to as Case Studies related to the above topic.
One Case study reports a 54-year-old allergic woman in Michigan. She was exposed to chlorine fumes when an excessive amount of bleach was added to a pool in which she was swimming. She received a diagnosis of chemical pneumonitis and was hospitalized for 7 days. Some statistical analysis showed that in New York, during 1983-2007, 31 events were attributed to chlorine gas exposure often resulting from mixing sodium hypochlorite solutions (e.g., household chlorine bleach) with acid. Recommendations included designing containers so that dust clouds are minimized when they are opened, using pictograms and appropriate PPE.
Another Case Study examines the mixing of incompatible chemicals at the MGPI Processing, Inc. facility in Atchison, Kansas in October 2016. The mixture of the two chemicals, sulfuric acid and sodium hypochlorite, produced a cloud containing chlorine and other compounds. The incident occurred during a routine chemical delivery of sulfuric acid from a cargo tank motor vehicle. Over 140 individuals sought medical attention and hospitalization. Following a chemical analysis and examination of factors, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) includes key lessons and safety measures for preventing similar incidents for facilities receiving chemicals and the companies delivering them.
Facing this important public health concern, several countries and international organizations elaborated and ratified laws and acts to enforce the best practices of use and ensure worldwide safety.
There aren’t major and specific laws or acts in Lebanon concerning hazardous chemicals and the way of disposing, handling, and using them. But, in April 2006, Lebanon ratified the Chemical convention, 1990 (No. 170) of the ILO, which covers all hazardous chemicals and focuses on chemical risks at the workplace. Also, some articles of the Decree No. 11802 (30 January 2004) specify that employers should provide information to the workers on how to safely use chemical products, and help them understand any danger that may arise from toxic materials and their physical and biological effects.
Misusing chemical products is a worldwide issue, especially in an over-consuming country like Lebanon. Aside from having few laws and acts concerning this problem, many other recommendations to Lebanon can be presented:
Do you know, by now, what you’re holding in your hands?