Oil and Special Materials Control Division      \
     Office of Water Program Operations
         Washington, D. C.  20460



  The National Oil and Hazardous Materials Contingency Plan requires
that accurate assessments be made of the potential or actual danger that
a discharge  of oil or hazardous substances  may present. To aid com-
petent water quality managers  in  time of emergency a data bank is a
valuable tool. This data  bank would permit the water quality manager
to carefully  evaluate the  material relative to its environmental exposure.
It is the purpose here to describe the Oil  and  Hazardous  Materials—
Technical  Assistance Data  System and  its  applications  to  emergency
situations  where  an On-Scene  Coordinator  would need  fast,  accurate
data  on the degree  of  hazard  involved,   the  countermeasures  to be
utilized and  the personnel safety precautions to be taken.
  The Oil and Hazardous Materials Technical Assistance Data System
(OHM-TADS) is an automated information retrieval file designated to
facilitate rapid-retrievel of information on more than 850 oil and haz-
ardous substances. Data  files were constructed in such a manner that a
systematic query  program could prove of great value, both  for on-line
response to  spill  incidents, and for summary evaluation  relating  to en-
forcement and research activities.
  The prime function of the  files is to provide  immediate feedback
of information on hazardous substances to spill response team personnel.
Individual segments  contain both numerical data and interpretive com-
ments. These can serve as background for  decision making  and  guide-
lines to initiate corrective action.
  The completed files can also be used  as a  source of diverse  infor-
mation on  hazardous substances  as  a  whole,  allowing research and
enforcement authorities to assess areas where more work or stricter regu-
lations are needed.
  Although  the files are  meant to be a complete and accurate summary
of all  pertinent  information  concerning  oil  and hazardous  substances,
it must be  realized that they  immediately  become incomplete  as the
result of an  almost continuous outpouring of new data from a multitude
of sources. It is evident that  constant updating of  the files is necessary.


  The Oil and Hazardous Materials Technical Assistance Data System
(OHM-TADS) is designed to include all information pertinent to spill
response efforts related to any material designated as an oil or hazardous
material. As such, it includes a wide variety of  physical,  chemical, bio-
logical, toxicological,  and  commercial  data.   However,  the greatest
emphasis is  placed on the deleterious effects these materials may  have
on water quality.

  The investigative effort required to compile the data files involved no
original research.  Consequently,  the completed files  comprise a  com-
pendium of information available in open literature.  Further, the data
gaps represent a fairly accurate listing of current research needs.
  Sources  of  information  include  articles  in  journals,  books,  papers
presented  at various  symposia,  compendiums,  governmental reports,
and basic reference texts.
  Data is entered in a form  that requires  some technical background
for maximum benefit. It is assumed that the user is familiar with chemi-
cal symbols and common chemical-biological terms.


  The following lists segment numbers  and  headers, as well  as  the
basic considerations which  were made  in  collecting data for the OHM-
TADS files.
  1.  TADS Accession No.:  Identifier for the  data file.
  2.  Material Name: Generally, the common name for the material.
  3.  Synonyms: Alternate identifiers or  similar isomers for which  the
      data is valid.
  4.  Trade Names (Company): Lists trade  names  and the associate
      manufacturer whenever  possible.
  5.  Chemical  Formula:  Gives most  common formula  or  describes
      nature of  materials included in the  general heading such as com-
      ponents of an industrial blend or mixture.
  6.  Species in  Mixture:  Identifies typical product  purity in cases of
      single  constituent  materials, or  specific major components  of
      hetrogeneous mixtures.
  7.  SIC Code: This segment can be used to identify possible  sources
      of spilled materials.
  8.  Common Uses: Enumerates common uses of materials.

Mode of Transport: These individual segments relate to normal routes
                    of transport.
  9.  Rail (%): Percentage shipped by rail.
  10.  Barge (%): Percentage  shipped by barge.
  11.  Truck (%): Percentage shipped  by truck.
  12.  Pipeline (%):  Estimated percentage  shipped by pipeline.  Refers
     only  to lines exterior  to  plant operations.
  13.  Containers: Lists type  of  shipping containers  normally used or
      required by law.
  14.  Shipment Size: Typical  shipment  size when available.
  15.  General Storage Procedures: Relates to  precautions to be  taken
      when storing the material. Rationale for these measures varies
      from  safety considerations  to precautions designed  to protect the
      material from degradation.
  16.  General Handling Procedures: States  the precautions to be taken
      when handling the  material. Information relates  to  both safety
      considerations  and practices designed to prevent  degradation of
      the  material.

 17.  Personal  Safety Precautions: Lists equipment  to  be employed
      when working in a spill area. Refers to disaster conditions and as
      such often presupposes fire or intense heat. Response teams should
      use  their own judgment in deciding when stated precautions are no
      longer  necessary. For most  circumstances, eye  protection,  hard
      hats, and  gloves are  recommended.
 18.  Production Sites: Lists major producers  and their plant locations.
 19.  Use Areas:  This segment  was  designed to identify specific  areas
      of use for individual materials. It was  found to be  meaningless
      for  most compounds.  Occasionally, it was used to identify warfare
      materials used by the Department of Defense or trade name  items
      with limited distribution.
 20.  Hydrolysis Product Of:  Lists hazardous materials which decom-
      poses  to the material of reference when contacted with water.
 21.  % Additive: Lists typical stabilizers and inhibitors added to  the
      base material.


 22.  Flammability: Summarizes potential for fire at a  spill  site.
 23.  Explosiveness:  Summarizes potential for violent rupture or vigor-
      ous reaction at a spill site.
 24.  Air Pollution:  Summarizes  degree  of hazard  to people in  the
      vicinity of a spill.  May refer to fumes, vapors, mists,  or dusts of
      the  material  spilled  or  its  combustion  and/or decomposition
 25.  Action Levels:  An interpretive segment designed to aid in  initiating
      response  activities.  Suggests  notification of fire and  air authority
      if material poses flammability or air hazard. Recommends alerting
      Civil Defense if explosion hazard exists. When explosion or severe
      air  pollution exists,  evacuation is indicated.  If  the  material  in
      question is highly corrosive or can be absorbed  through  the skin
      at toxic levels, affected waterways should be restricted from public
      access. When flammable  materials are involved,  ignition sources
      should be removed. Air contaminants  require entry from upwind.
      If the  spill  involves solids, attempts  should be  made  to prevent
      suspension of dusts  in the air. If the material is one that will  form
      a slick on water before dissolving, early attempts  at containment
      will be quite beneficial.
        It is assumed that  these actions will be complemented by gen-
      eral defensive  responses.  These  include,  notifying downstream
      water  users of  the spill,  stopping all leaks or diverting their flow
      from reaching surface waters, and  removing all bags, barrels  and/
      or other containers that still may be leaking to the water  body.
 26.  Field  Detection, Limit (ppm), Techniques,  Ref: A  three part
      segment  listing  potential  field  detection  techniques,  the  lower
      sensitivity  limit, and the  literature  reference where more data can
      be obtained. Field  test generally refers to any  gross identification
      method that  can be  used at the  spill site without  elaborate  or

     non-portable equipment. It normally assumes that the material or
     the  chemical  class has  been identified so that general tests for
     aldehydes or phenols, etc. are applicable. The two major types of
     tests listed  are  inorganic colorimetric  reactions and organic spot
27.  Laboratory Detection,  Limit  (ppm),  Techniques, Ref:  Follows
     format of previous segment for specific tests  that can be used for
     positive identification of material. These tests are generally reliant
     on  sophisticated laboratory  analysis  equipment, such  as atomic
     absorption units and gas chromatographs.
28.  Major  Hazards: Summarizes data from  previous segments  and
     toxicological information.  No order of priority is established for
     this segment.  Rather, the degree of fire, explosion, reactivity,  and
     toxicological  hazards  is listed  wherever these  hazards  are  con-
     sidered important.
29.  Standard Codes:  Enumerates the NFPA codes for  materials as
     well as pertinent transportation codes.
30.  Melting Point (°C):  Accepted value under standard  conditions
     unless otherwise noted below in segment 31.
31.  Melting Characteristics:  Decomposes,  ignites, etc. (Example)
32.  Boiling  Point  (°C):  Accepted  value under standard  conditions
     unless otherwise noted below in segment 33.
33.  Boiling Characteristics:  Reduced  pressure, etc.  (Example)
34.  Solubility  (ppm 25°C): Typically the listed value for standard
     reference conditions.
35.  Solubility Characteristics:  Slightly and moderately are used when
     a specific value is  not given.
36.  Specific Gravity: Listed value for material in the state it is  most
     often shipped. For materials whose boiling point is near ambient
     temperatures, the liquid state was usually referenced.
37.  Probable location  and state  of  material:  This  is an  interpretive
     segment of the above physical data designed to assist  personnel in
     identifying  the  material spilled  and its whereabouts. The  data
     attempts to describe the physical appearance  of  the  material as
     shipped (i.e., a dark red powder, etc.) and  its probable location
     if the spill occurs in or near surface water.
38.  Binary Reactants:  Lists materials  known  to react  when put in
     contact with the material of interest.
39.  Lower Flammability Limit  (%):  Listed value is % of material in
     air  which is the lower limit of flammability.
40.  Upper  Flammability Limit  (%): Listed value is %  of material
     in air which is the  upper limit of flammability.
41.  Toxic Combustion Products:  Occasionally lists specific materials
     or  classes of materials  released when compound of concern  is
     burned or heated to decomposition.
42.  Extinguishing Methods: Notes fire  fighting  techniques  and out-
     lines unique precautions to be  taken if any.
43.  Lower Explosive Limit  (%):  Listed value  is  %  of material in
     air  which is the lower explosive limit.

44. Upper Explosive Limit (%):  Listed  value is %  of  material in
    air which is the upper explosive limit.
45. Flash Point (°C):  Listed  open cup value when  available, other-
    wise closed cup.
46. Auto Ignition  Point  (°C):  Listed value at which auto ignition
    occurs in the presence of adequate air.
47. Inhalation Limit (Value): Generally the accepted  threshold limit
    value  (TLV)  which  is that level acceptable for industrial ex-
    posure  over an eight  hour period. May sometimes be the  LC50
    for inhalation.
48. Inhalation Limit (Text): Units and source of above  segment.
49. Irritation Levels (Value):  Level at which skin and mucous mem-
    brane irritation occurs.
50. Irritation Levels (Text):  Reference  and explanatory comments
    for above segment.
51. Direct  Contact: Summary statement  indicating  corrosiveness or
    irritation value of material  in  direct  contact  with skin, mucous
    membranes, or eyes.
52. General Sensation:  Designed  to  identify  some  of the reactions
    people  might  have  when exposed to  the designated material,
     sensation upon breathing  vapors, symptoms  and effect on  body
    from poisoning, vapor concentration  levels at  which noticeable
     reactions  occur,  warning properties,  and  miscellaneous  toxi-
    cological observations.
53. Lower  Odor Threshold  (ppm):  Listed  value.
54. Lower  Odor Threshold (Text):  Source  of information.
55. Medium Odor Threshold (ppm): Listed value.
56.  Medium Odor Threshold (Text):  Source of information.
57. Upper Odor Threshold (ppm): Listed value.
58. Upper  Odor Threshold (Text):  Source  of information.
59.  Lower  Taste Threshold (ppm): Listed value.
60. Lower  Taste Threshold (Text): Source of information.
61.  Medium  Taste  Threshold  (ppm): Listed value.
62.  Medium  Taste  Threshold  (Text): Source of information.
63. Upper  Taste Threshold (ppm): Listed value.
64. Upper  Taste Threshold (Text):  Source  of information.
65.  Corrosiveness:  General statement of observations on corrosive
     action  to materials commonly used for packaging or equipment
     that might be required at a spill  site.
66.  Synergistic  Materials:  Lists  other  materials  and water  quality
     parameters whose  presence  can increase the toxicity of the ma-
     terial of  interest.
67.  Antagonistic Materials: Lists  other materials and water quality
     parameters whose presence can reduce the toxicity of  the material
     of interest.  Antidotes  are  occasionally given.
68. Degree of Hazard to Public Health: Interpretive  summary of data
     from previous  segments.  This segment  focuses  on those lexico-
     logical chemical hazards directly affecting  public health.
69.  Exchange Capacity with  Natural Soils:  Describes ion  exchange,

     chemical, and adsorption interactions likely to take place in natural
     soils. In general, strong cationic exchange is common with clays,
     while anionic exchange is weak for all but a few common anions.
70.  Industrial Fouling Potential: Relates  potential  problems from use
     of  water contaminated by the material  of interest.  Generally  re-
     fers to  use  in boiler feed and  cooling water. Materials with flash
     points  below 50°C  are listed  as  potential rupture hazards when
     included in  boiler feed or cooling water.
71.  Effect on Water Treatment Process: Describes potential interaction
     with typical water  and wastewater treatment facilities. Most fre-
     quent entries concern  effect of chlorination on the aesthetic prop-
     erties of contaminated water,  and the effect  of high concentration
     on sewage organisms.
72.  Direct  Human  Ingestion  (mg/kg wt):  Note  toxic  dose levels
     via human  consumption.
73.  Reference for Direct Human  Ingestion:  Source of information.
74.  Recommended Drinking Water Limits (ppm): Cites Public Health
     Service Drinking Water Standards where available.
75.  Reference for Recommended  Drinking  Water Limits: Source of
76.  Body Contact Exposure  (ppm): States acute contact  threshold
     limits in water where available.
77.  Reference for Body Contact Exposure:  Source of information.
78.  Fresh Water Toxicity:
     Column 1—Concentration in  ppm at which test  results  were  re-
     Column 2—Time of exposure in hours whenever given.
     Column 3—Species tested, generally given  a common name.
     Column 4—Effect  on organism  tested  often  given as  TLm or
     Column 5—Test environment, includes data on  water  quality,
                 source of water used, specific isomer or additive em-
                 ployed with material of  interest and related  informa-
     Column 6—Source of information.
79.  Limiting Water  Quality: Lists water quality characteristics  men-
     tioned  by researchers as  being critical  to the toxic level of  the
     contaminant in question.
80.  Salt Water Toxicity:   This  table is  set up in  same fashion  as
     segment 78. Data on  marine development is quite limited.
81.  Animal Toxicity:
     Column  1—Species, lists  animal of  reference—typically lab ani-
                 mals—rats, guinea pigs,  mice, dogs, and monkeys.
     Column 2—Gives  value of LD50 in mg/kg body weight.
     Column  3—Gives time of exposure  when listed,  as well as mode
                 of application. If no comment appears, application was
                 oral. IP  indicates intraperitoneal method, IM  intra-
                 muscular, IV, intravenous.

     Column 4—Source of data.
82.  Livestock Toxicity (ppm): Lists recommended  or limiting levels
     of concentration in ppm  for use on livestock.
83.  Reference for Livestock:  Source of information.
84.  Waterfowl  (ppm): Concentration in ppm felt to be  hazardous to
     waterfowl upon acute exposure.
85.  Reference for Waterfowl: Source of information.
86.  Aquatic Plants  (ppm):  Concentration  in  ppm  found  to  be in-
     jurious to aquatic  flora listed.
87.  Reference for Aquatic Plants: Source of information.
88.  Irrigable Plants  (ppm):  Concentration in ppm found  to  be in-
     jurious to the crop listed.
89.  Reference for Irrigable Plants: Source of information.
90.  Major Species Threatened: This segment was originally designed
     to spotlight individual species especially  susceptible to the material
     of interest. Data  such   as this is  very rare. Consequently,  the
     segment includes specific data on tests run with different plants
     and animals.
91.  Acute Hazard Level: Attempts  to indicate level of hazard result-
     ing from a spill. Relates  to inhalation, ingestion and contact with
     material. Also  lists  specific water use  hazard level such  as  fish
     toxicity and irrigation water toxicity.
92.  Etiological  Potential: Enumerates diseases and  ailments initiated
     or accelerated by exposure to the material of interest.
93.  Emergency Water  Quality Std  (ppm):  Gives concentration in
     ppm  which would be a maximum acceptable concentration of the
     material in water for all uses,  but for short duration only, under
     emergency  conditions.
94.  Prolonged Human Contact (ppm): States safe level for prolonged
     bathing and swimming activities.
95.  Reference for Prolonged  Human Contact: Source of information.
96.  Potential for Accumulation:  Recounts  data on  ability  of various
     organisms  to  accumulate  a  material and  the specific  organs in
     which concentration is most pronounced.
97.  Chronic Aquatic Toxicity Limits (ppm):  Maximum level in ppm
     found to be safe for extended exposure of fish  to the material of
98.  Reference for Chronic Aquatic Toxic Limit: Source of information.
99.  Taste Imparting Characteristics (ppm): Level  in ppm at which
     material will  impart a  taste  to the flesh  of  fish  living  in the
     affected waters and source of the data.
100.  Reference  for Taste  Imparting Characteristics: Source of informa-
101.  Chronic  Animal Toxicity  Limits  (ppm):  Concentration in  ppm
     thought to be the threshold for extended use by livestock.
102.  Reference  for Chronic Animal Toxicity Limits:  Source of  info.
103.  Chronic Waterfowl Toxicity Limits (ppm):  Concentration in ppm
     considered  to  be maximum  permissible in  water  inhabited by

104.  Ref for Chronic Waterfowl Toxicity Limits: Source of information.
105.  Chronic Plant Toxicity Limits  (ppm):  Threshold level in ppm for
      extended use as irrigation water.
106.  Ref for Chronic Plant Toxicity Limits: Source of information.
107.  Soil Transformation Properties: Notes any effect the material might
      have on soil properties. Sodium is  the most  common  transformer
      with its ability to disperse soils.
108.  BOD (Ib/lb), Time (days), Ref:  Lists biochemical oxygen demand
      of pure substances on  a Ib/lb or % of theoretical demand basis,
      the duration of the test in days,  and the source of information.
109.  In Situ Amelioration: Lists potentially effective treatment methods
      which could be  applied to the body of water for removal of the
      spilled material. Methods deemed to include  hazards  equal  to or
      greater than that  of the contaminant were systematically excluded.
      The term carbon  refers to activated carbon in granular or  pow-
      dered form.
110.  Beach  and Shore Restoration:  This segment is  used mainly to
      indicate if material  can safely  be  burned off of beaches. Occa-
      sionally recommendation  is made  to  wash  affected area with  a
      neutralizing solution.
111.  Availability of Countermeasure  Material: Lists  major materials
      required for countermeasure  recommended  in segment  109  and
      possible local  sources  for those  materials.
112.  Disposal  Methods:  Describes recommended techniques for  dis-
      posing of spilled materials.
113.  Disposal Notification:  Lists local authorities who should be  noti-
      fied before disposal methods in  segment 112 are initiated.
114.  Chronic Hazard  Level: Interprets  chronic toxicological-biological
      hazard to life  forms subjected to material of interest for extended
      periods of time.
115.  Food Chain Concentration Potential:  Indicates potential  for  ma-
      terial to be concentrated  to toxic levels while it  is  passed up the
      food  chain. Where possible,  data is given on  findings in predator
116.  Persistency: Interprets BOD  and  chemical  data  to estimate  ma-
      terial life  span in a free aquatic  system. When possible degradation
      products  are  specified.
117.  Major Water  Uses Threatened: Lists water uses imperiled  by a
      spill and  consequently indicates what type  of downstream  water
      users should be notified of the spill.
118.  Adequacy of  Data: A simple classification  was  used to  indicate
      the  availability  of  data.  Poor—indicates  toxicological  data  is
      sparse if  it exists at  all. Fair—indicates toxicological data  was
      found but no aquatic toxicities are listed. Moderate—indicates toxi-
      cological  data was found along with some information on toxicity
      towards   fish.  Good—indicates  both  toxicological  and aquatic
      toxicity data was found. Limited References—identifies  those ma-

      terials for which a complete literature survey was not run.
119.  Carcinogenicity:  Relates results of  work aimed at indicating car-
      cinogenicity of materials.
120.  Mutagenicity:  Cites finding of tests for mutagenicity.
121.  Teratogenicity: Cites findings  of tests  for teratogenicity.
122.  Color in Water:  Identifies the color or appearance of concen-
      trated solutions of the material of interest. In many cases, dilution
      and material coloring will minimize the visibility of the color listed
123.  Fields Containing  Data: Lists  any/all of the preceding segments
      which contain  data.

  The Oil and Hazardous Materials-Technical Assistance  Data System
is  an on-line interactive information retrieval  system.  The system  is
capable of processing structured and unstructured data in an on-line
conversational mode, whereby the user can  interact  with the system  in
natural  language or abbreviated  expressions.  Data  in  the system are
condensed to  obviate  the  need  for  extensive study by the user.  The
random access provision permits the user  to solve  problems  involving
unidentified pollutants by searching for color, odor  or other  physical/
chemical characteristics as observed  on-scene.
  The main  characteristic  of this system is that  it  automatically takes
each word and processes it  into an inverted index file, making each word
a search component of the data base. The  data themselves are in two
files.  A serial file consisting  of  variable  block  length  character  strings
plus additional information, and an  inverted file consisting  of the  index
expression followed  by  the associated information strings.
  Searches are  formulated  in an English-like language using  Boolean
logic. The system responds  with the number of documents meeting the
request  and the researcher is then able to refine or restructure the query
if necessary.  The resulting pertinent  information can then  be  displayed
at the user's  terminal, listed at a remote medium speed terminal, or  at
the central site.
  This  system is oriented  towards  the informational retrieval  problem
that is characterized by  difficult and vague  subject definition,  extensive
variance in term selection, changing  scientific and  technical  terminology,
and imprecise  search  definition.  The   system  greatly facilitates file

  For more detailed information on the  Oil and  Hazardous Materials-
Technical Assistance Data System (OHM-TADS), please contact:

           Ms. Jean Wright, Program Analyst
           OHM-TADS Project Officer
           Division of  Oil and Special  Materials Control
           Environmental Protection Agency (WH-448)
           Washington, D. C.  20460
           Office (202) 245-3057