The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine has published a collection of leaflets and publications on chemical security risks to help civilians take care of their safety in the conditions of ongoing hostilities.
“Military campaigns in such an industrialized country as Ukraine bear serious risks of incidents with the release of toxic chemicals, endangering people and the environment. Interruptions in work of enterprises, targeted or accidental hits of industrial facilities in the course of combat or as a result of air and rocket strikes – these factors increase chemical security risks immensely,” said Ambassador Henrik Villadsen, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine.
An assessment produced by Ukrainian State Emergency Service in 2018, mentioned that 655 facilities across the country stored more than 216,000 tons of dangerous chemicals. Research on the environmental impact of hostilities in Donbas, performed with the support of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator, highlighted severe chemical security concerns, as more than 500 major interruptions of work for enterprises in the eastern part of Ukraine were recorded between 2014 and 2017.
The awareness-raising materials include a leaflet, “Chemical Incidents. Leaflet on Risks and Safety Measures” that provides generalized guidance on safety measures related to accidents with toxic substances. Four other leaflets contain specific guidance for occasions of release or spills of most widespread chemicals – ammonia, mercury, chlorine and nitric acid. They also contain practical advice on administering medical assistance in such cases. In addition, the Co-ordinator is organizing a webinar for journalists to help them better understand the risks in this context.
The collection also contains publications, created specifically for the training of emergency response personnel, which will also be the basis for further production of awareness-raising materials and as a useful source of information for local authorities and other civilian services in planning measures in response to possible emergencies.
These materials, updated according to the recent developments, were developed by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator with the financial support of the European Union, United States, and Germany as one of the project’s activities aimed at enhancing chemical safety and security in Ukraine.