Hazardous Materials Procedures

General Information | If You Spill A Hazardous Material or Materials | Mail | For Suspicious Unopened Envelopes or Packages Marked with Threatening Messages | For Envelopes or Packages That Have Been Opened and Contain Powder | If There Is Question of Room Contamination by Aerosolization | How to Identify Suspicious Envelopes or Packages

General Information
If you witness a hazardous material spill, evacuate the spill site and warn others to stay away. Call University Police at 878-6333 if you believe the spill may be life threatening. If you can determine that the spill is not life threatening, follow the procedures outlined below.

If you are a hazardous material user, you should be trained by your supervisor on proper use and storage of hazardous materials. This training should include hazard information, proper procedures for preventing spills, and emergency procedures when a spill happens.

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If You Spill A Hazardous Material or Materials:

  • Leave the area of the spill first and proceed to a safe location nearby. Then assess if you have the proper training and protective gear to clean up the spill.
  • If you are able to clean up the spill, follow proper cleanup procedures and use proper personal protection. Manage the generated waste as appropriate. Consult your supervisor if necessary.
  • Isolate the spill area to keep everyone away, and post signs as necessary.
  • If you require assistance to clean up the spill, call University Police at 878-6333. University Police will call Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S).
  • If you suspect or witness a release of a hazardous material to the environment (air, water, ground), call University Police at 878-6333.

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Mail
How to Handle Threats of Anthrax or Other Biological Agents

DO NOT PANIC

  1. Anthrax organisms can cause infection in the skin, gastrointestinal system, or lungs. To do so, the organism must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed, or inhaled as a fine, aerosolized mist. Disease can be prevented after exposure to the anthrax spores by early treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Anthrax is not spread from person to person.
  2. For anthrax to be effective as a covert agent, it must be aerosolized into very small particles. This is difficult to do and requires a great deal of technical skill and special equipment. If these small particles are inhaled, life-threatening lung infection can occur, but prompt recognition and treatment are effective.

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For Suspicious Unopened Envelopes or Packages Marked with Threatening Messages:

  1. Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package.
  2. Place any suspicious envelope or package in a plastic bag or other type of container to prevent the contents from leaking.
  3. If you do not have a container, cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  4. Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any substance to your face.
  6. Report the incident to University Police at 878-6333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  7. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area when the envelope or package arrived. Give this list to responding authorities.

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For Envelopes or Packages That Have Been Opened and Contain Powder:

  1. Do not try to clean up any powder. Cover any spilled contents immediately with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  2. Leave the room and close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  4. Report the incident to University Police at 878-6333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  5. Remove heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag or other container that can be sealed. Give this clothing to responding emergency personnel.
  6. Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other type of disinfectant on your skin.
  7. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder. Give this list to responding authorities.

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If There Is Question of Room Contamination by Aerosolization
(e.g., a device is triggered or a warning is received that a ventilation system is contaminated or that a biological agent has been released in a public space):

  1. Turn off local fans and ventilation units in the area.
  2. Leave the area immediately.
  3. Close the door or section off the area to prevent others from entering (i.e., keep others away).
  4. Report the incident to University Police at 878-6333 and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
  5. If possible, shut down the ventilation system in the building.
  6. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area. Give this list to responding authorities.

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How to Identify Suspicious Envelopes or Packages
A suspicious envelope or package might include the following:

Excessive postage
Handwritten or poorly typed address
Incorrect title
Title without name
Misspelling of common words
Oily stain, discoloration, or odor
No return address
Excessive weight
Lopsided or uneven envelope
Protruding wires or aluminum foil
Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
Visual distractions
Ticking sound
Restrictive endorsements, such as "personal" or "confidential"
City or state in the postmark that does not match the return address

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University Police

Buffalo State  •  1300 Elmwood Avenue  •  Chase Hall 110
Buffalo, New York 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6333

To submit a comment, compliment, or complaint e-mail police@buffalostate.edu
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