The state's industrial capacity and the network of interstate highways and railways result in vulnerabilities to hazardous material releases from both stationary sites and transportation sources. Facilities that use or store hazardous materials are located throughout the state in both rural and densely populated areas and do not include retail gas stations or telephone relay battery storage sites. Many facilities are located in coastal counties that could be impacted by hurricane force winds and rains. Toxic release inventories indicate combinations of fixed sources are clustered along Interstate 85. While the greatest number of facilities are concentrated along that route, numerous other facilities, more evenly spread across the state, emit greater amounts. Further, the extensive network of interstate highways and railways that supply industries with chemical and petroleum products could result in a moderate to large accidental release of hazardous materials from a transportation source.
Hazardous materials are chemical substances, which if releases or misused, can pose a threat to health or the environment. These chemicals are used in industry, agriculture, medicine, research and consumer goods. As many as 500,000 products pose physical or health hazards and can be defined as "hazardous chemicals." Each year, over 1000 new synthetic chemicals are introduced. Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in manufacturing plants.
However, most victims of chemical accidents are injured at home. These incidents usually are the result of carelessness or ignorance in the use of chemical products. The use of these chemical products has become a necessity in our society. We depend on them to protect us from disease and contribute to our high standard of living. It is important to remember that the products we use to clean, disinfect, and maintain our homes, clothing, dishes, furnishings, etc. are designed to be safely used, stored and disposed of in the home. These accidents occur when they are used or disposed of improperly. As with all the materials in our homes, you should follow manufacturer’s labels on proper ways and improper ways to use and dispose of all types of chemical products.
You may be exposed to a chemical in three ways:
1. Breathing the chemical
2. Swallowing contaminated food, water or medication.
3. Touching the chemical, or coming into contact with items that touched the chemical.
Remember, you may be exposed to chemicals even though you may not be able to see or smell anything unusual. Many hazardous materials do not have a taste or an odor. There are different ways to detect the presence of a hazardous material. Some materials can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea. Some hazardous materials exist beneath the surface of the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance.
Learn about chemicals and chemical emergencies. Chemicals are everywhere and are an important part of everyday life. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to be prepared. Knowing what to watch for and how to respond will keep you alert to potential chemical hazards.
If you ever have questions about Sara Title III Reporting we hope this section will help answer them. If something is not covered please feel free to call our office (843-665-7255) and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have.
South Carolina has averaged 11 tornadoes each year since 1950. South Carolina ranks twenty-sixth in the United States in the number of tornado strikes, and eighteenth in the number of tornadoes per square mile. The most common type of tornado, the relatively weak and short-lived type, occurs between March and May. However, tornadoes can occur almost anywhere at anytime.
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.
Snow and ice storms, coupled with cold temperatures, periodically threaten South Carolina. Winter storms can damage property, create safety risks, destroy crops and valuable timber, damage infrastructure components such as power lines and have enormous economic impacts.
Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.
One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.
The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.
Winter Weather: Know the Terms
All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard.
The following are things you should check when you attempt to give aid to a victim of lightning: