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Polluting materials

Hazard Knowledge

Contaminated and polluting materials will affect the environment during incidents. Operational actions may cause or increase pollution, for example, if fires are extinguished without any precautionary actions being taken to contain run-off.

The following types of polluting materials could result from an incident: See Section 1.2.4, Environmental Protection Handbook and National Operational Guidance: Hazardous Materials.


Examples of polluting materials

Road traffic collisions

Oils, fuel, coolants or other liquids

Spillages of non-hazardous materials

Organic matter such as beer and milk

Spillages of hazardous materials

Corrosive, toxic, and flammable materials

Using first aid equipment

Clinical waste, disposable gloves, bandages

Fires involving environmentally damaging materials

Contaminated fire water run-off, toxic smoke plumes, hazardous wastes/residues

Incidents involving contaminating materials

Biological or radioactive materials


All of these scenarios may result in contaminated personal protective equipment and operational equipment.