Responding After Chemical Exposure

21 March 2022
Responding After Chemical Exposure

The steps below should always be taken should chemical exposure take place. The SDS sheet should always be consulted if there is chemical exposure. Contacting the national poison control center is a great way to get advice about specific chemicals after exposure.

  • CALL 911: 911 should be contacted immediately if the victim is unresponsive, in shock or having trouble breathing.
  • REMOVE FROM CONTACT: Remove the victim from the area, that includes evacuating the area of gases and away from direct contact with the chemical. If any clothing or items had been in contact with the chemical be sure to remove all of those. PPE should always be used when helping any victim of chemical exposure.
  • EVACUATE TO FRESH AIR: If chemical exposure occurs, you may need to leave the room or possibly the building. Evaluate the seriousness of the exposure once evacuated and seek emergency help if necessary.
  • CLEANSE SKIN: Reference the SDS sheet to make sure the chemical is not activated by water. If there is no activation via water, flush the area for at least 15 minutes with a flow of water.
  • IRRIGATE EYES: With an emergency eyewash solution or cool temperature water rinse the affected eye or eyes. If on affected in one eye, be sure to just rinse the eye that is affected. This may involve tilting the head and flushing downward.
  • CONSULT THE SDS: Any delayed or hidden effects will be referenced in the SDS, make sure to reference that. Contact the healthcare provider or poison control if the SDS is not available. The SDS should always stay with the victim.
  • REFER TO EXPERT GUIDANCE: If needing more information, OSHA’s website had a log of all toxic industrial chemicals.