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The Increase of Chemical Suicide in United States and Its Effect on First Responders

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Chemical suicide is a growing problem all around the world. This form of suicide was created in Japan, but now it is growing rapidly across the United States in recent years. People committing this type of suicide are looking to kill themselves, and also may want to harm or kill first responders in the process as well. This puts a large amount of people in danger in the immediate area where the chemicals are located. These situations might not be clear to first responders upon arrival and could cause injury or death if they are not wearing proper personal protective equipment. Chemical suicides became prevalent in the United States around 2008. Since then, the number of suicides has been rising faster as the years go by. These forms of…show more content…
These situations are dangerous and have to be treated with extreme caution. When first responders are responding to a call of possible chemical suicide, they have to approach it with extreme caution and be very aware of the situation. Most of the time at these situations, the person attempting to use these chemicals to commit suicide will post some kind of warning for first responders as well as other people. For example, a situation of chemical suicide in a car, the person might post a sign in the window of the car as a warning to people and first responders on scene. (FEMA.Gov). Although leaving a note or sign to warn people might happen, it is not always the case. Some chemical suicides will not be as noticeable as others. “A chemical suicide in a car can produce levels of 8,000 parts per million in that car. Unless the responder is aware of the danger and is wearing breathing apparatus when the door is opened, they may easily be killed with the first breath they take.” (Rowley). When approaching the scene, take time to do a full size up of the scene and look inside the car through the window. You might be able to see and buckets or cans that could have possibly been where the chemicals were mixed. (Oreshan III/Stevens, 2011). This is something that is simple that first responders can and should do but it is easily overlooked as well. There are other ways to tell if someone committed suicide with chemicals. For example, “a car could
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