According to the Emergency Response Guidebook, we must determine whether the chemical leaked from the domestic transportation mishap is classified as a large spill or a small spill (Nordin, 2004). Since this particular gas is less than 55 gallons, it is considered a small spill. Since this is a gas spill and gas is able to travel quickly, evacuation should also occur upwind of the radius of the initial isolation zone. Other conditions that influence this radius are how toxic the material is by inhalation, the amount of release, how the release took place (e.g. slowly or quickly), weather conditions, and if the material is spilled in water producing toxic gasses.
To determine the radius of the initial isolation zone and magnitude of the each side of the protective-action zone associated with the release of this substance, the characteristics of the spill in this situation can be compared to Table 1, Initial Isolation and PADs for Example Chemicals from the Emergency Response Guidebook. Since this is a small spill and classified as Inhalation Hazard, Zone B, the isolation distance will be 0.03 km; the PAD at nighttime will be 1.2 km and the PAD at daytime will be 0.2 km.
Since the specific type of chemical spilled is unknown and it is Inhalation Hazard Zone B, this case should be responded to quickly. In this situation, level B protection should be used because the type of atmospheric contaminant is unknown and it is likely that incompletely identified vapors or gasses will be present when the atmosphere is measured with organic vapor detection equipment. A SCBA should be used because breathing in the substance is potentially hazardous. Chemical resistance clothing that include boots, gloves, and jacket should also be worn. A face shield and two way radio communication device will also be useful (DEM, n.d.).
DEM. (n.d.). Personal Protection Equipment. Retrieved from www.dem.ri.gov.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). (2006). Print.
Nordin, J. (2004). The First Responder: Technically Speaking. Retrieved from www.aristatek.com