Evacuation not best during a chemical incident

According to New Scientist this week, evacuation is not the best course of action during a chemical incident. Sheltering at home may be better than evacuation for residents living in an area during a chemical incident. So says a study of a real emergency situation that occurred in 1999 when a serious fire broke out in a plastsics factory in Devon, UK.

Ironically, it’s probably the only good reason for installing hermetic plastic-framed double glazing and doors in an otherwise authentic Devon cottage. I’m not sure what the building conservation organisations would have to say about that, but if we didn’t all install those uPVC window frames that potentially hazardous plastics factory maybe wouldn’t be there in the first place. Admittedly, we’d have to go for nice wooden frames instead, with their attendant environmental concerns, and repeated painting with noxious gloss paint! You can’t win.

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rock god.

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