HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL 4
Therehas been an accident involving a tanker truck that contained oxygen.The rate at which this gas is leaking undetermined. For this reason,as the Incident Commander, I would like to bring to your attentionthe various critical facts about the possible chemical hazard ofrelease of oxygen. Generally, the hazards of chemicals are rooted inproperties like radioactivity, ability to explode, ability tocorrode, inflammability and radioactivity (Northwest OccupationalHealth &Safety, 2009 Pg. 2).
First,Oxygen can be transported in either compressed or liquid form.Mainly, oxygen forms 21% of air by volume. It is colorless, tastelessand odorless. If the concentration of this particular gas isincreased, substances catch fire more readily, become exogenous,combust at a higher rate and it may be impossible to extinguish thefire (Northwest Occupational Health &Safety, 2009Pg. 2)
Secondly,oxygen is nonflammable but it speeds up combustion. In the case whereatmospheric concentration of oxygen supersedes 21%, nonflammablematerials may ignite. Therefore, only the suitable extinguishingapparatus should be used. Also, firefighters need to have appropriateprotective clothing that meets the standards for managing chemicalhazards. This is because even the fire resistant outfits may trapoxygen and catch fire (Northwest Occupational Health &Safety,2009 Pg. 15).
Inthe presence of flammable elements such as hydraulic liquids andlubricants which contain hydrocarbon materials, oxygen generatesexplosive composites. These materials are highly sensitive to oxygenand they have the potential for minimum ignition energy. In the end,severe accidents may be experienced (Northwest Occupational Health &Safety, 2009 Pg. 17).
Inaddition, oxygen toxicity in the air may result in hyperoxia inhumans. Hyperoxia is culminated in seizures because it is exerted inthe eyes, central nervous system and the lungs. Individuals whoexhibit such symptoms would need medical attention (NorthwestOccupational Health &Safety, 2009 Pg. 16).
Inconclusion, chemical hazards as a result of oxygen toxicity arelikely to be severe. Flames and hydrocarbons should be kept away.Also, oxygen tankers should not stand still near households or gasstations.
NorthwestOccupational Health & Safety (2009) Oxygen:Health Effects and Regulatory Limits Part I: Physiological andToxicological Effects of Oxygen Deficiency and Enrichment118