Leaks & Spills
Laboratory staff shall clean chemical spills and contaminated areas that are bench scale and in which they have adequate materials to respond. If the spill is large or there are concerns about the safety of laboratory individuals, call EH&S first at (962-3057) and University Police (962-2222) if no answer.
EH&S recommends that each laboratory have a spill kit. Since each laboratory uses different chemicals, the spill kit should be specific to the hazards present in that laboratory. For assistance creating an appropriate spill kit, please contact EH&S (962-3057) or the Chemistry Stockroom Coordinator (962-3460). Mercury spill kits can be acquired directly through the Chemistry Stock Room.
EH&S supplies 5-gallon waste containers for disposing of glassware and liquid hazardous waste. Please call EH&S (962-3057) to request a waste container. The glass container, once full, can be disposed of directly into the dumpster by lab personnel. The liquid hazardous waste is disposed of and managed by EH&S. A Hazardous Material Transfer Form is available from EH&S and must be submitted prior to pick-up. NOTE: All waste must be properly labeled.
Please make sure all waste containers are labeled, kept closed and are protected from breakage. Any fines for improper waste handling are the responsibility of the generating department.
If any hazardous, radioactive, or biohazardous material is spilled or is leaking, take prompt action to prevent further release or harm to persons in the area.
- If the spill is small and you feel you can respond to the spill yourself consider the following: Do you understand the potential hazards involved, have appropriate absorbents, personal protective equipment and is there a second person nearby to call for help if needed, you can then continue the clean-up.
- Stop the source of the leak if possible.
- Contain the spill with absorbent or booms so it does not continue to spread.
- Absorb the main body of the spill.
- Use a scoop or dustpan to pick up the used absorbent and place it in an appropriate container. Label the container. Contact EH&S for disposal.
- If the spill is large, you do not have appropriate equipment or you feel uneasy, contact EH&S at 910-962-3057 for assistance. After hours, call 911. Make sure to provide the following information:
- Leave the area immediately and if the spill is large, activate the fire alarm system to evacuate the building. Do not close the door, this will concentrate fumes.
- Evacuate to a safe distance and meet with authorities to provide information regarding the spill or leak.
- Submit a report to EH&S of the incident.
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If you notice the smell of natural gas or other strange odor, this may be the first signal of a hazardous materials release that could result in a loss of life or damage to property or the environment. Take prompt action to notify appropriate parties to investigate.
Notify Physical Plant and EH&S at 910-962-3101 and 910-962-3057. After hours, call 911. Provide the following information:
Description of odor:
Time odor first observed:
Is this the first occurrence:
If the odor becomes strong or if you begin coughing, wheezing, or have watery eyes, leave the area immediately and activate the fire alarm system to evacuate the building. Do not close the door, this will concentrate fumes.
Evacuate to a safe distance and meet with authorities to provide information regarding the odor or leak.
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