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Choose an emergency contact person outside your area, as it may be easier to call long distance after a local/regional emergency.

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About Portable Document Format (PDF) Files

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HTML (the code behind Web pages) cannot maintain all the original formatting and presentation of many documents. In such cases, we use a different format: Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF documents maintain the look of the original document, and they can be viewed on any Macintosh, PC, or Unix computer. First, however, you must download and install the free Adobe Reader. Please use the most current reader from Adobe to ensure compatibility with all PDF files on EPA's site. The Adobe Reader is also sometimes referred to as the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Installing Adobe Reader

The Adobe Reader Web site contains detailed information on this product, and allows you to download free copies of Adobe Reader for Windows, Macintosh, or UNIX systems. We suggest that you configure Adobe Reader as a plug-in application for your Web browser. You won't have to wait for a separate application to launch; you can read PDFs directly in your browser. You can start reading the PDF file while it's still downloading. You can also read PDF pages side by side. If you already have a Web browser installed on your computer when you install Adobe Reader, it should automatically install itself as a browser plug-in. You will know that it is properly installed as a helper application if you see the PDF file in the browser window, with a row of special Reader buttons along the top of the viewing screen.

Printing Adobe PDF Files

Printing from within Adobe Acrobat Reader
Selecting the Print Box within Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 7

  • Choose the Printer Icon from within Adobe Acrobat Reader, not the Web browser window
When printing Adobe PDF files from within your Web browser, DO NOT use the Web browser print facility. Instead, use the print button at the left end of the special Adobe Reader tool bar, which appears immediately above the viewing window. See illustration to the right for the location of this print button.

Accessibility of Adobe PDF Files

Adobe provides online conversion tools to help visually disabled users read PDF documents. They convert PDF documents into either HTML or ASCII text, which can then be read by a number of common screen reader programs. Visit for more information on how to make .pdf files more accessible to people with disabilities.