- Some corrosive bases may be ignitable. Examples include triethylamine, isopropylamine – use flammable material cleanup guidance.
- Contact causes burns to skin or eyes.
- May be harmful if inhaled.
- Concentrated material may react vigorously with water.
Basic Supplies (See EHS Spill Preparedness and Response Training for additional information)
- Absorbent pads, pillows, or loose sorbent, OR
- Base neutralizer such as Spill-X-C, citric acid, sodium bisulfate, or dilute acetic acid may be used
- Splash goggles
- Lab coat or apron
- Shoe Covers (optional)
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Sealable container
- Plastic mixing tools
- Heavy duty waste bags
- Tape to seal bags
- Hazardous waste labels
Response Actions/Cleanup Methods
- Alert others in the spill area.
- Don’t touch or walk through the spilled material.
- Wear eye and skin protection. Use gloves that are compatible with bases such as a thicker nitrile or neoprene. However, be aware that some bases require a more chemical resistant glove such as Silver Shield®/4H®.
- Avoid breathing vapors.
- As quickly as possible, dike the spilled liquid to prevent spreading. If the spill is a solid, you do not need to neutralize or absorb it.
- Spill pillows or a general absorbent material may be used.
- For solutions of inorganic bases, use a weak acid such as citric acid, sodium bisulfate, or dilute acetic acid to neutralize the base. You can also use a commercial neutralizer product such as Spill-X-C® (need pH paper with it), Neutracit®-2 (has built-in pH indicator).
- Add neutralizer slowly; work from edges of spill inward. Use caution because the reaction can cause splattering.
- Mix the neutralizer with a plastic spatula or other tool.
- Test pH or use the product’s color indicator to determine the level of neutralization.
- When pH is between 6-8, the material is no longer considered hazardous waste. The neutralized material may be carefully dissolved in water and washed down the sink.
- Any items used to absorb or dike non-neutralized base should be considered corrosive and disposed of as hazardous waste.
- After the neutralized spill material has been picked up, spray the area lightly with water; test with pH paper to ensure all corrosive material has been removed.
- If a neutralizer is not used, cover with absorbent.
- Pick up spill cleanup material with plastic tools and place into a plastic or glass container with a sealable lid. The material may also be double-bagged and placed into a sealable cardboard box.
- Label material for collection by HPO.
- Thoroughly ventilate the area after cleanup.
- Clean the area with detergent and water.
Factors That Can Complicate Spill Response
- Spilled corrosive bases may become a major spill due to a large quantity spilled, a complex situation such as multiple chemicals spilled or involved in a spill, or if special respiratory protection is required for response.
- Special respiratory protection may be required if there is an inhalation hazard due to –
- Increased toxicity/volatility.
- Severe short term health effects.
- Highly volatile or toxic materials spilled in poorly ventilated areas.