Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. But chemicals also can be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use, or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work, or play.
Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. These products are also shipped daily on the nation's highways, railroads, waterways, and pipelines.
Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons, and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in plants.
In 2000 there were a total of 17,514 hazmat incidents in the U.S. resulting in 13 fatalities, 246 injuries and causing $72,727,595 in damages. More than 800,000 hazmat shipments are transported daily, and 3.1 tons transported annually with 94% transported by truck and 5% by air.
Hazardous materials in Tampa are transported daily by air, boat, rail vehicle and pipeline, via Tampa's:
- Three interstate highways (I-4, I-75, and I-275) and several major state roads.
- Two major airports (Tampa International and McDill AFB).
- A major port (The Port of Tampa) which ranks in the top 15 nationally, in terms of annual tonnage, and is the largest port in Florida.