Hazmat emergency preparedness in Hong Kong: What are the dangerous goods in Kowloon?

Frank G Walter, Jimmy Tal Shing Chan, Billie Winegard, Farshad Shirazi, Peter B. Chase, Yuk Yin Chow, Melanie de Boer, Kurt R Denninghoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Hazmat emergency preparedness is critical, especially as Hong Kong prepares for major international events, such as the 2008 Olympic Equestrian Games. No published medical study has described the identities and quantities of dangerous goods (DG) in the Kowloon area and listed what antidotes are needed for these DG. This study describes what hazardous materials are most common in Kowloon to prioritise emergency preparedness and training. Materials & methods: Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional study. Setting: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, specifically Kowloon. Sample: The Hong Kong Fire Services Department (HKFSD) Dangerous Goods Database (DGD). Interventions: Descriptive statistical analyses with Stata 9.2. Chief outcome: Identifying and quantifying dangerous goods in the HKFSD DGD. Results: Most DG do not have antidotes. The most common DG with recognised antidotes are carbon monoxide, methylene chloride, fluorine, fluorides, fluoroboric acid, cyanides, nitriles, methanol, nitrobenzene, nitrites, and nitrates. The most common categories of DG are substances giving off inflammable vapours, compressed gases, and corrosive and poisonous substances. Conclusions: Hazmat emergency preparedness and training should emphasize these most common categories of DG. Disaster planning should ensure adequate antidotes for DG with recognised antidotes, i.e., oxygen for carbon monoxide and methylene chloride; calcium gluconate or calcium chloride for fluorine, fluorides, and fluoroboric acid; hydroxocobalamin for cyanides and nitriles; ethanol for methanol; and methylene blue for methaemoglobinaemia produced by nitrobenzene, nitrites, and nitrates. Supportive care is essential for patients exposed to hazardous materials because most dangerous goods do not have antidotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-176
Number of pages21
JournalHong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Fingerprint

Civil Defense
Hong Kong
Antidotes
Hazardous Substances
Nitriles
Fluorine
Methylene Chloride
Cyanides
Carbon Monoxide
Nitrites
Fluorides
Nitrates
Methanol
Hydroxocobalamin
Disaster Planning
Databases
Calcium Gluconate
Methemoglobinemia
Caustics
Calcium Chloride

Keywords

  • Disaster planning
  • Emergency medicine
  • Epidemiology
  • Hazardous substances
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Hazmat emergency preparedness in Hong Kong : What are the dangerous goods in Kowloon? / Walter, Frank G; Chan, Jimmy Tal Shing; Winegard, Billie; Shirazi, Farshad; Chase, Peter B.; Chow, Yuk Yin; de Boer, Melanie; Denninghoff, Kurt R.

In: Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 3, 07.2008, p. 156-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Walter, Frank G ; Chan, Jimmy Tal Shing ; Winegard, Billie ; Shirazi, Farshad ; Chase, Peter B. ; Chow, Yuk Yin ; de Boer, Melanie ; Denninghoff, Kurt R. / Hazmat emergency preparedness in Hong Kong : What are the dangerous goods in Kowloon?. In: Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2008 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 156-176.
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abstract = "Introduction: Hazmat emergency preparedness is critical, especially as Hong Kong prepares for major international events, such as the 2008 Olympic Equestrian Games. No published medical study has described the identities and quantities of dangerous goods (DG) in the Kowloon area and listed what antidotes are needed for these DG. This study describes what hazardous materials are most common in Kowloon to prioritise emergency preparedness and training. Materials & methods: Design: A descriptive, cross-sectional study. Setting: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, specifically Kowloon. Sample: The Hong Kong Fire Services Department (HKFSD) Dangerous Goods Database (DGD). Interventions: Descriptive statistical analyses with Stata 9.2. Chief outcome: Identifying and quantifying dangerous goods in the HKFSD DGD. Results: Most DG do not have antidotes. The most common DG with recognised antidotes are carbon monoxide, methylene chloride, fluorine, fluorides, fluoroboric acid, cyanides, nitriles, methanol, nitrobenzene, nitrites, and nitrates. The most common categories of DG are substances giving off inflammable vapours, compressed gases, and corrosive and poisonous substances. Conclusions: Hazmat emergency preparedness and training should emphasize these most common categories of DG. Disaster planning should ensure adequate antidotes for DG with recognised antidotes, i.e., oxygen for carbon monoxide and methylene chloride; calcium gluconate or calcium chloride for fluorine, fluorides, and fluoroboric acid; hydroxocobalamin for cyanides and nitriles; ethanol for methanol; and methylene blue for methaemoglobinaemia produced by nitrobenzene, nitrites, and nitrates. Supportive care is essential for patients exposed to hazardous materials because most dangerous goods do not have antidotes.",
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