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Chemical Spill Response in the Lab. Chemical Spills. Spills can seriously disrupt laboratory operations. If handled properly, a spill may be nothing more than a nuisance. In most cases, laboratory workers are the most appropriate people to clean up their spills.

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chemical spills
Chemical Spills
  • Spills can seriously disrupt laboratory operations.
  • If handled properly, a spill may be nothing more than a nuisance.
  • In most cases, laboratory workers are the most appropriate people to clean up their spills.
  • If handled improperly, a spill can disrupt your activities and the work of your colleagues
    • Evacuation of a room or even the entire building.
    • Or can cause bodily harm or the lost of valuable material.
what to do when a spill occurs
What to Do When a Spill Occurs?
  • Aware your colleagues and lab director.
  • You and others should move well away from the area when determining the appropriate response.
  • Follow the 3 steps to determine weather a spill is simple or complex:
      • Evaluating of the spill risks (i.e., volatile vapors, water or air reactive, ignition sources, oxidizers, etc.).
      • Evaluating of the quantities (i.e., simple or complex spill).
      • Evaluating the spills potential impact (i.e., toxic vapors after the cleaning, damage of the equipment, etc.).
recommended procedures for cleaning up spills
Recommended Procedures for Cleaning Up Spills
  • First, be sure that you have the right protective equipment that includes:
    • Appropriate eye protection.
    • Protective gloves
    • A lab coat
  • Make sure all the skin surfaces are covered.
    • Wear two set of gloves.
slide5

Prevent the spread of dust and vapors

    • Close the lab door and increase ventilation through fume hoods.
    • Spills pillows or similar absorbent materials work the best than cat litter (do not have the dust associated with cat litter)
  • Control the spread of the liquid.
    • Make a dike around the outside edges of the spill.
    • Use absorbent materials such as vermiculite, cat litter, or spill pillows.
      • Flammable liquids are best removed through the use of spill pillows.
finally
Finally
  • Neutralize acids and bases, if possible.
    • Neutralization often causes splashes and large amount of heat.
  • Collect and contain the clean up residues.
    • The spill residue should be scooped, swept, or placed into a plastic bucket or other container.
    • Keep clean up materials separate from normal trash.
  • ACS Task Force, Laboratory Waste Management: A Guidebook, Oxford University Press.
  • http://portal.acs.org/