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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chemical Spill Kits

Chemical Spill Kit image

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.

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.

One of the most important things (and one of our biggest problems) is that people do not replace the materials used in a spill response.  Make this a priority item in your spill response plans.

Special hazards require special spill response materials.  In addition to HF, noted above, labs with mercury present must have mercury-specific spill response.  For labs with Biological hazards present, you should have received information in your Biosafety training indicating the proper material for the disinfection of any biological materials you may be using. 

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 this link for more information on performing hazardous material spill response in your laboratories.

And, as always, feel free to contact me with any question on this subject.

By: Mark Banister,, 412-268-1493