Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance

The HSEES program ended on September 29, 2009 and the information on this page will no longer be updated. Thank you to everyone who contributed information to the program. For questions, please contact us.

Introduction
The Minnesota Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) program is one of the 14 state surveillance programs funded by the United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The State of Minnesota has participated in the HSEES program since 1995. The program maintains a database with information about acute (lasting less than 72 hours) hazardous substances emergency (unplanned) releases within Minnesota. The HSEES database contains the following information on emergency release events:

  • Information about type of substance released and quantity;
  • Time, date, and day of week;
  • Geographical location and place within the facility where the event occurred;
  • Event type (fixed-facility or transportation-related event);
  • Factors contributing to the release;
  • Information on injured persons: including demographic information, type and extent of injuries, distance from spill, and type of protective equipment used;
  • Information about decontaminations, orders to evacuate and shelter-in-place;
  • Land use and population information to estimate the number of persons at home or work who were potentially exposed;
  • Type of response to the incident (Company's response team, fire department, police, ambulance, etc.);
  • Environmental sampling and follow-up health activities

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Reports

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Maps

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Excerpts from Minnesota County Health Tables
A report called "Minnesota County Health Tables" is done each year by the Minnesota Department of Health. The report includes information on hazardous substances releases and associated injuries. HSEES excerpts from this report are available below:

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Pesticide Incidents in Minnesota, 1995-2008 (PDF: 417KB/20 pages)
A summary of Minnesota pesticide incidents, describing substances involved, resulting acute injuries, and general geographic distribution of incidents from 1995-2008. A brief discussion on incident cause is also included.

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Mercury Spills in Minnesota Schools, 1995-2007 (PDF: 126KB/13 pages)
Provides information about mercury spills in Minnesota schools from 1995-2007 and a short discussion on issues related to mercury spill response.

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An Overview of Accidental Anhydrous Ammonia Releases in Minnesota (PDF: 56KB/4 pages)
This information sheet summarizes unplanned (i.e., accidental) releases of anhydrous ammonia in Minnesota from 1995-2005. Information about types and causes of releases, number of injured persons and types of injuries is described. Health effects from acute exposure, safety precautions and references for additional information are also included.

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Accidental Chlorine Releases (PDF: 37KB/4 pages)
This information sheet summarizes unplanned (i.e., accidental) releases of chlorine in Minnesota from 1995-2004. The sheet includes information about events by facility type, cause of release, number of injured persons and types of injuries. The information sheet also covers health effects of chlorine exposure, chlorine handling and storage procedures, and release management.

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Publications
The Minnesota HSEES program has publications pertaining to hazardous substances releases, including:

Wattigney, W., Rice, N., Cooper, D., Drew, J., Orr, M. (2009) State Programs to Reduce Uncontrolled Ammonia Releases and Associated Injury Using the Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance System. Journal of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 51(3), 356-363. (Reprints available by contacting the MN HSEES program at 651-201-4923.)

Rice, N., Messing, R., Souther, L., Berkowitz, Z. (2005) Unplanned Releases and Injuries Associated with Aerial Application of Chemicals, 1995-2002. Journal of Environmental Health, 68(4), 14-18. (Reprints available by contacting the MN HSEES program at 651-201-4923.)

Souther, L., Small-Johnson, J., Messing, R. (2000) A description of agricultural releases of anhydrous ammonia in Minnesota. Chemical Health and Safety, 7(6), 16-22.

Souther, L. April Showers Bring May Ammonia Releases. (PDF: 893KB/3 pages) (2000) Minnesota Fire Chief, 36(4), 14-16. (Posted with permission from Minnesota Fire Chief)

Centers for Disease Control. (2000) Public Health Consequences Among First Responders to Emergency Events Associated With Illicit Methamphetamine Laboratories --- Selected States, 1996--1999 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 49(45), 1021-4.

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For more information
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance Web site has more information about the HSEES program, as well as links to other HSEES-participating states.

If you wish to request data from the HSEES program or for questions, please contact us.

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Updated Monday, August 19, 2013 at 09:47AM