TIP: Deadly chemical intake…

Poison chemicalsnote: first published September 2015

There are only three ways a deadly chemical can enter your body:

  1. Touch
  2. Ingest
  3. Breath

Prevent poisoning by deadly chemicals is accomplished by preventing those three things.  Here are the first tidbits of wisdom:

  1. Stay up-wind
  2. Stay up-hill
  3. Stay up-stream

More proactive measures that can be taken:

1 – Have sturdy rubber cloves and wear vinyl under them to avoid touching chemicals.

RubberGloves GlovesNitrile2 


2 – Have a good quality military-grade face mask respirator.

Gas mask

3 – Have heavy duty rubber boots.


Best thing to do is simply don’t be where the chemical is.  Get out, get out soon, and don’t take chances with deadly chemicals!

When I was still a structure firefighter we used the “Rule of Thumb” for hazard materials incidents.  While holding our thumb out in front of us and looking at the Hazmat scene, if we couldn’t cover the entire hazardous materials incident with our thumb we were too close.

firefighter Rule of Thumb

Hazardous Materials Scene Rule of Thumb

Well, technically there are three more “rules” regarding HazMat that I already mentioned:

  1. Stay up wind.
  2. Stay up hill.
  3. Stay up stream.

Yup, if the HazMat substance can’t reach you…then you are safe from it.


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