As hazardous materials and hazardous wastes become more and more commonplace, accumulating in our earth, air, and water, it is vitally important that citizens are well informed about the challenges posed by these substances. American communities are facing policy decisions that can dramatically affect their population’s well being: Should hazardous materials traffic be regulated? What is the community’s role in preparing for the possibility of a serious hazardous materials accident? What should be done with household hazardous wastes? Concerned community members willing to take the time to learn more about such issues can help protect their own health and contribute to their community—for just as surely as there are thorny problems associated with hazardous materials, there are creative minds at work seeking and testing solutions.
This quick-study course is intended to provide interested members of the general public with a basic introduction to hazardous materials that can serve as a foundation for more specific research. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed.
At the end of the course, the reader should be able to:
- Recognize the dangers posed by hazardous materials;
- List places where hazardous materials are likely to be encountered;
- Identify when a hazard may exist;
- Contact the appropriate persons or agencies to give or receive specific hazardous materials information; and
- Identify procedures to minimize personal and community exposure to hazardous materials.