Performance Improvement 1999. Emergency Events Surveillance


TITLE: Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES)-1997 Annual Report

ABSTRACT: Since 1990, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has maintained an active, State-based Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) system to describe the public health consequences associated with the release of hazardous substances. This report summarizes the characteristics of events reported to the surveillance system by 13 State health departments during 1997. Data on acute hazardous substances emergency events were collected, includinggeneral information on the event, substance(s) released, victims, injuries, and evacuations. Several data sources were used to obtain the maximum amount of information about each event. These sources included, but were not limited to, records or oral reports of State environmental protection agencies, police and fire departments and hospitals. The data obtained were computerized using an ATSDR-provided data entry system and were sent to the ATSDR on a quarterly basis. The 13 participating States reported a total of 5,531 events for 1997; approximately 80 percent of the events occurred at fixed facilities, and 20 percent were transportation related. In 96 percent of the events, only a single substance was released. The most commonly reported categories of substances were volatile organic compounds, acids, ammonia, pesticides, other inorganic substances, mixtures involving more than one category, and the category designated "other," which included substances that could not be placed in one of the other 10 categories. During this reporting period, 372 events (approximately seven percent of all events) resulted in a total of 1,896 victims. The most frequently reported injuries sustained by victims were respiratory irritation, headache, eye irritation, and nausea or vomiting. A total of 28 persons died as a result of all events, and 514 events required evacuations. These findings have been relatively consistent with previous years since the HEES was started.

AGENCY SPONSOR: Office of Policy and External Affairs


PHONE NUMBER: 404-639-5001

PIC ID: 6854.1

PERFORMER ORGANIZATION: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA