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).