Cargo-specific accidental release impact zones for hazardous materials: risk and consequence comparison for ammonia and hydrogen fluoride Article

cited authors

  • Inanloo, B; Tansel, B; Jin, X; Bernardo-Bricker, A

fiu authors


  • Impacts of hazardous material releases during transport depend on the characteristics of the cargo, incident location and time, weather conditions (i.e., wind direction and speed), and land use. The objectives of this research were to characterize the dispersion characteristics of two hazardous materials (ammonia and hydrogen fluoride) in relation to meteorological parameters, land use, and cargo characteristics; and evaluate the health risks associated with the exposure after accidental releases. The magnitudes of the impact zones were compared in relation to atmospheric stability and exposure levels. Impact zones were estimated by areal locations of hazardous atmospheres software and imported to ArcGIS. For ammonia, the areas impacted by exposure levels over 1100 ppm Acute Exposure Guideline Level 3 (AEGL-3) were limited to less than 0.3 miles downwind from the incident location under unstable atmospheric conditions, which favor high vertical mixing and rapid dilution, and extended further downwind to distances between 0.5 and 0.7 miles under stable atmospheric conditions. For hydrogen fluoride, the AEGL-3 impact zone (exposure levels over 44 ppm) extended between 0.6 and 0.9 miles directly downwind from the incident location under unstable conditions, and reached approximately 2.0 miles directly downwind from the incident location under stable atmospheric conditions. The results were compared with the Emergency Response Guideline (ERG 2012) and showed agreement. The multilevel analysis of impacts after hazardous material releases during transport (i.e., type of material, geographical data, dispersion profile, meteorological information) can be used for implementing appropriate response and mitigation measures for accidental releases of hazardous cargo.

publication date

  • March 1, 2016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 20

end page

  • 33


  • 36


  • 1