ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Add your Article

Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- On a January night in 2005, a freight train with three tanker cars -- each loaded with 90 tons of chlorine -- slammed into a parked locomotive in the center of Graniteville, S.C., a town of 7,000 people about 15 miles from Augusta, Ga.

One tank ruptured during the 2 a.m. collision, releasing between 42 tons and 60 tons of chlorine gas that seeped into a nearby textile mill, where 180 people were working the overnight shift.

Eight people died at the accident scene, at least 525 people were treated in emergency rooms, and 71 people were admitted to nine hospitals in South Carolina and Georgia.

A new study examining the lingering effects of the disaster should serve as a blueprint for larger metropolitan areas looking to prepare for an accidental or terrorist release of the potentially deadly gas, the researchers said.

"This is one of the largest community exposures to chlorine gas since World War I," study lead author David Van Sickle, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, said in a news release issued by The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, which published the report in its January issue.

"It was a tragic disaster that shows us what a significant challenge a large-scale chlorine gas release poses to health-care facilities," he said.

Hospitals need to be able to quickly recognize the signs of chlorine exposure and have enough mechanical ventilators on hand, he added.

Van Sickle was part of a team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) that studied the accident's resulting health effects.

Chlorine gas is an irritating, fast-acting and potentially deadly inhalant. It's also one of the most widely used toxic chemicals -- water treatment and industrial manufacturing are examples of such use. Much of the 13 million to 14 million tons produced in the United States each year is transported by rail, often through populated areas, the news release said.

New U.S. regulations governing the transportation of rail cargo aim to prevent a similar disaster in a major metropolitan area. And, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified a deliberate attack on a chlorine storage tank as a top concern. According to agency estimates, as many as 100,000 people would be hospitalized and 10,000 would die if a chlorine storage tank was attacked in an urban area, according to the release.

Van Sickle and his colleagues tried to learn as much as they could about the health effects from widespread exposure to chlorine gas.

According to the report, many people who were hospitalized showed signs of severe lung damage. More than a third were admitted to intensive care, and 10 percent required mechanical ventilation. Despite their injuries, most recovered quickly and were discharged within a week, according to the release.

"Public health agencies and hospitals across the country can learn a lot from this disaster and be better prepared to help in the next emergency," Dr. James J. Gibson, state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Disease Control at the South Carolina DHEC and a co-author of the report, said in the news release. "We continue to monitor area residents for any possible long-term health effects."

More information

To learn more about chlorine, visit the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.



-- HealthDay staff



SOURCE: The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, news release, January 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 08, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com