This is an online version of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) which is produced by the USDOT for first responders during the initial phase of a Dangerous goods/Hazardous Materials incident. Have you ever wondered what those four digit numbers on the placards on the side of trucks and rail cars mean? Our online ERG will give you your answer.
SUBSTANCES - SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE - TOXIC and/or CORROSIVE (Air-Reactive)
FIRE OR EXPLOSION
- Extremely flammable; will ignite itself if exposed to air.
- Burns rapidly, releasing dense, white, irritating fumes.
- Substance may be transported in a molten form.
- May re-ignite after fire is extinguished.
- Corrosive substances in contact with metals may produce flammable hydrogen gas.
- Containers may explode when heated.
- Fire will produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases.
- TOXIC; ingestion of substance or inhalation of decomposition products will cause severe injury or death.
- Contact with substance may cause severe burns to skin and eyes.
- Some effects may be experienced due to skin absorption.
- Runoff from fire control may be corrosive and/or toxic and cause pollution.
- CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. If Shipping Paper not available or no answer, refer to appropriate telephone number listed on the inside back cover.
- As an immediate precautionary measure, isolate spill or leak area in all directions for at least 50 meters (150 feet) for liquids and at least 25 meters (75 feet) for solids.
- Stay upwind.
- Keep unauthorized personnel away.
- Keep out of low areas.
- Wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
- Wear chemical protective clothing that is specifically recommended by the manufacturer. It may provide little or no thermal protection.
- Structural firefighters' protective clothing provides limited protection in fire situations ONLY; it is not effective in spill situations where direct contact with the substance is possible.
- For Phosphorus (UN1381): Special aluminized protective clothing should be worn when direct contact with the substance is possible.
- Consider initial downwind evacuation for at least 300 meters (1000 feet).
- If tank, rail car or tank truck is involved in a fire, ISOLATE for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions; also, consider initial evacuation for 800 meters (1/2 mile) in all directions.
- Water spray, wet sand or wet earth.
- Water spray or fog.
- Do not scatter spilled material with high pressure water streams.
- Move containers from fire area if you can do it without risk.
Fire involving Tanks or Car/Trailer Loads
- Fight fire from maximum distance or use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles.
- Cool containers with flooding quantities of water until well after fire is out.
- Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety devices or discoloration of tank.
- ALWAYS stay away from tanks engulfed in fire.
SPILL OR LEAK
- Fully encapsulating, vapor protective clothing should be worn for spills and leaks with no fire.
- ELIMINATE all ignition sources (no smoking, flares, sparks or flames in immediate area).
- Do not touch or walk through spilled material.
- Do not touch damaged containers or spilled material unless wearing appropriate protective clothing.
- Stop leak if you can do it without risk.
- Cover with water, sand or earth. Shovel into metal container and keep material under water.
- Dike for later disposal and cover with wet sand or earth.
- Prevent entry into waterways, sewers, basements or confined areas.
- Move victim to fresh air.
- Call 911 or emergency medical service.
- Give artificial respiration if victim is not breathing.
- Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult.
- In case of contact with substance, keep exposed skin areas immersed in water or covered with wet bandages until medical attention is received.
- Removal of solidified molten material from skin requires medical assistance.
- Remove and isolate contaminated clothing and shoes at the site and place in metal container filled with water. Fire hazard if allowed to dry.
- Effects of exposure (inhalation, ingestion or skin contact) to substance may be delayed.
- Keep victim warm and quiet.
- Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved and take precautions to protect themselves.
Data Source for our online 2008 ERG
This information was compiled from the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook (2008 ERG) which is produced by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
(Data last updated/verified: Oct. 2, 2011)
WARNING: These pages are for general reference and educational purposes only and MUST NOT be relied upon as a sole source to determine regulatory compliance or where matters of life and health are concerned. This site and the author do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or the sufficiency of the information provided and do not assume any responsibility for its use.
To ensure regulatory compliance when transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods, one must receive proper training and certification from a qualified instructor and refer to the current year's Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 (49CFR) or your country's shipping regulations. In matters regarding workplace safety, refer to current OSHA regulations (29CFR) and NIOSH guidelines or your own country's health and safety regulations. No one should ever enter into a hazardous environment without proper training from qualified instructors.
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