- Flammable/combustible material may be ignited by heat, sparks or flames.
- Vapors may travel to a source of ignition and flash back.
- Containers may explode in heat or fire.
- May be poisonous if inhaled or absorbed through skin.
- Contact may irritate or burn skin and eyes.
- Vapors may cause dizziness or suffocation at high concentrations.
Absorbent pads, pillows, or loose sorbent; OR
Solvent absorbent such as Spill-X-S or Solusorb (Spill-X-S, Solusorb may be used for non-oxidizing liquids, only)
- Splash goggles
- Lab coat or apron
- Shoe Covers (optional)
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Sealable container
- Non-sparking (plastic) mixing tools
- Heavy duty waste bags
- Tape to seal bags
- Hazardous waste labels
Response Actions/Cleanup Methods
- Act quickly.
- Alert other workers.
- Don’t touch or walk through the spilled material.
- Extinguish all flames.
- Turn off all spark-producing equipment. If vapors are in the vicinity of an ignition source, shut off power from a remote circuit breaker box instead.
- Wear eye and skin protection. Use gloves compatible with solvents. Avoid breathing vapors.
- Quickly, dike or soak up the spilled liquid; cover with a sheet of plastic or plastic-backed absorbent pad to suppress vapor if absorbent is not immediately/readily available.
- Spill pillows, pads, or a general absorbent material may be used but do not reduce vapors.
- Use a solvent spill absorbent such as Spill-X-S, Solusorb, or activated charcoal for materials with a low flash point since they can reduce vapor as well as absorb the spill; however, excess absorbent may be needed to significantly reduce the flash point. Refer to the absorbent manufacturer’s spill treatment information. (Keep this information available in the spill kit).
- Use non-sparking tools (plastic scoop, shovel, dustpan) to:
- Mix the absorbent with the spilled material until it appears dry and free flowing.
- Place the cleanup material into a plastic or glass container with a sealable lid.
- Label spill cleanup materials for collection by EHS.
- Thoroughly ventilate the area after the cleanup.
- Clean the area with detergent and water after the spill cleanup.
- NEVER use a vacuum cleaner or Shop-Vac to clean up flammable material spills or debris because contact with the motor could start a fire.
Factors That Can Complicate Spill Response
- Many flammable/combustible solvents can readily permeate some protective gloves. Keep gloves in the spill kit that are resistant to solvents (e.g., Silver Shield®/4H® available from vendors such as Fisher Safety, Lab Safety Supply, or VWR).
- Spilled flammable/combustible material can become a major spill if:
- There are nearby ignition sources.
- A large quantity of the material is spilled.
- Multiple chemicals are spilled or are involved in a spill.
- Special respiratory protection is required for response.
- Respiratory protection may be required if an inhalation hazard is present due to:
- A material’s increased toxicity and/or volatility.
- The material causes severe short term health effects.
- A highly volatile or toxic material is spilled in a poorly ventilated area. For example, if spilled, a significant quantity of the flammable material diethyl ether would quickly generate a high concentration in air due to its high volatility.