Prediction of vulnerable zones for reactive substances

M. K. Miller, K. F.V. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Emergency planning committees across the United States are preparing emergency response plans for the release of extremely hazardous substances into the atmosphere. These plans include the use of models to predict the atmospheric dispersion of the extremely hazardous substances. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has produced a list of extremely hazardous substances and their concentrations where there is immediate danger to life and health, the Technical Guidance for Hazards Analysis (1). An area where the concentration of the substance reaches a level detrimental to life is called the vulnerable zone. When a hazardous substance such as fluorine is released into moist air the resulting mixture becomes more toxic due to the interaction of fluorine and water vapor. Data used by the local planning committees to determine the emergency planning levels of the toxic substance usually do not take this reaction into the plume calculations. This paper describes the effect of the vulnerable zone determination for the extremely hazardous substances which can react with the atmospheric environment. This paper determines the vulnerable zones for two reactive substances; in one case the vulnerable zone is misrepresented by 1,700 percent, and in the other case, the substance is not even included as an extremely hazardous substance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-19
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Environmental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 22 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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