Chemical Spill Kits-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Friday, August 1, 2014

Chemical Spill Kits

All laboratories with hazardous chemicals in them must have a spill kit present, sufficient to address the size and type of chemicals present.  This is a fairly frequent deficiency noted in our lab inspections.  You may build a kit to meet your requirements or you can purchase a pre-assembled kit from any of the safety product suppliers. 

Kits should have sorbent pads, socks or similar items appropriate for your chemicals.  You may also use granular sorbent which also may neutralize acid or base materials, and/or bind up organic materials.  Select sufficient materials to accommodate the largest chemical container in your lab.
Spill Kit
The kit should also have protective and waste disposal materials, such as goggles, gloves, disposal bags and a small pan to assist in picking up loose sorbent material.

A common issue when labs are inspected is that the lab people know they have a spill kit but can’t find it!  It is critical that all lab persons know their kit’s location.  If it is in a cabinet, place a sign on the cabinet door of the kit’s presence.

Only persons trained in spill response should attempt to clean up a spill.  One of the most critical factors in this activity is understanding when a spill is appropriate for you to respond to yourself and when it is not.  Please check out these links for more information on performing hazardous material spill response in your laboratories.

Finally, it is CRITICAL that, when a spill occurs and you have depleted some of your spill response supplies, that you PROMPTLY order replacement materials.  Mellon Stores stocks some of these items; others are available on-line.

By: Mark Banister,, 412-268-1493