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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS AND TOXIC CHEMICALS WHERE YOU LIVE, WORK, AND PLAY

Chemical Storage Tank

What are they?

Chemical storage tanks are used to store crude oil, petroleum products (diesel, gasoline), liquefied natural gas, propane, fertilizers, and other chemicals. They can also be used to transfer chemicals to a vehicle or ship. Chemical storage tanks are primarily used at farms, industrial and manufacturing sites, vehicle maintenance operations, and shipping areas. They can also be used for home heating oil at homes and for fuel at school bus yards. 

Why are they a concern?

A damaged or failed chemical storage tank can cause serious environmental contamination and property damage. If a chemical storage tank leaks or spills, the stored chemicals can flow into lakes and streams, contaminate drinking water and groundwater, or catch fire. A chemical fire can contaminate soil and water, and threaten human health. 

 

Chemical storage tanks can fail because of corrosion or deterioration, poor maintenance, construction flaws, overfills, spills during transfers, and a lack of containment for leaks.

Who is at risk?

  • People working at farms, industrial and manufacturing sites, vehicle maintenance shops, school bus yards, and shipping areas are at risk.
  • Communities near these places may also be at risk .

What pollutants are of greatest concern?

Chemical storage tanks are used to store:

Reduce your risk

  • Do you live near chemical storage tanks or do you have one on your property?
  • Do you use well water?
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with chemical storage tanks. 
    • Only trained professionals should handle them.
    • Children should not play near them.
  • Report spills or leaks immediately.
  • Test well water to make sure drinking water has not been contaminated by leaks from nearby chemical storage tanks.
  • If your well water has high levels of chemicals, contact your local or state health agency or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for information on how to reduce your exposure to these chemicals.
  • Do not let children play near chemical storage tanks.
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