The CHEMTREC vision is to be recognized by emergency responders, industry, government, and others as the world’s foremost emergency call center for information on hazardous materials. CHEMTREC was established in 1971 by the chemical industry as a public service hotline for emergency responders, such as fire fighters and law enforcement, to obtain information and assistance for emergency incidents involving chemicals and hazardous materials.
CHEMTREC was established in 1971 by the chemical industry as a public service hotline for emergency responders, such as fire fighters and law enforcement, to obtain information and assistance for emergency incidents involving chemicals and hazardous materials.
In addition to the public service component, registration with CHEMTREC authorizes shippers of hazardous materials the right to portray the CHEMTREC phone number(s) on their shipping documents, Material Safety Data Sheets and hazard communications labels. The portrayal of the CHEMTREC phone numbers(s) helps registrants to comply with government regulations, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation regulation 49 CFR § 172.604, which requires shippers of hazardous materials to provide a 24-hour emergency telephone number on shipping documents for use in the event of an emergency involving hazardous materials.
CHEMTREC has a broad range of critical resources that can help emergency responders mitigate incidents involving hazardous materials, such as:
- A round-the-clock communications center staffed by trained and experienced emergency service specialists;
- Immediate access to thousands of chemical product specialists and hazardous materials experts through CHEMTREC’s database of over 30,000 manufacturers, shippers, carriers, public organizations and private resources;
- A state-of-the-art telecommunications system that supports the virtual emergency response team, seamlessly linking on-scene responders with chemical experts, transportation companies, and medical experts;
- An expansive electronic library of over 5 million Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS);
- A database of medical experts and chemical toxicologists who provide advice and emergency medical treatment assistance to on-scene medical professionals treating victims of product exposure; and
- Interpretation capabilities for more than 180 languages in the event of an emergency involving non-English speaking stakeholders.
CHEMTREC's headquarters are located in Falls Church, VA (Washington, DC metropolitan area).
CHEMTREC has established, long-standing relationships with several emergency centers around the world as well as cooperative relationships with international chemical industry associations. These relationships help CHEMTREC gather and share needed information in cases where an incident involves an international shipment.
CHEMTREC works with international associations to encourage other countries to establish CHEMTREC-like centers where none exist. In recent years, CHEMTREC has sent representatives to Colombia, China, Hungary, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand to educate shippers. CHEMTREC has hosted delegations from Singapore, Japan, Argentina, Venezuela, and other countries.
In February 2006, CHEMTREC hosted a special event that was the first of its kind, the CHEMTREC International Emergency Response Summit, conceived to explore the challenges of responding to a chemical incident in the global arena, as well as identifying ways to address those challenges. The summit addressed three main regions:
- Asia, with a particular focus on China, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
- Central and South America, with a particular focus on Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Venezuela.
- Central and Eastern Europe.
In addition to educating shippers around the world, CHEMTREC recently signed a memorandum of agreement for mutual assistance with organizations in Chile, Colombia and Argentina to augment global support at the local level. CHEMTREC has a comparable agreement with the Swedish Rescue Services Agency and is exploring opportunities for similar partnerships around the world. CHEMTREC's goal is to develop working relationships that reflect the type of seamless interactions that frequently take place today between CHEMTREC and the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre (CANUTEC).
As the global economy becomes more commonplace and new participants enter the market, CHEMTREC is continuing to build new relationships with international manufacturers, shippers and emergency response organizations, as well as offering expanded services for customers who ship globally.