Spill Response Guide: Spill Kits, Absorbents and Neutralizers

Spill Kits (Spill Response Supplies)

Have spill kits (supplies) on hand in areas where hazardous materials are used.  Preparation of a spill kit consolidates spill control materials and personal protective equipment in one location. Tailor each spill kit to meet the needs of each work area.  PPE must be selected based on the hazardous materials used.  Store kits in a location where individuals can quickly gain access to items needed in the event of a spill.  Hazardous materials users should know where to locate the spill kit and how to use the spill response materials contained in the kit.

Basic Spill Kit Supplies

Obtain a chemical-resistant container to hold the kit contents such as a 5-gallon plastic bucket or Rubbermaid™ tub.  It is recommended that an additional 5-gallon container be on hand that has a sealable lid.

Personal Protective Equipment (minimum)

  • 2 pairs chemical splash goggles.
  • 2 pairs chemical-resistant gloves.  Silver Shield®/4H® and thick nitrile or neoprene gloves are recommended.
  • 2 pairs plastic, vinyl or rubber shoe covers.
  • 2 disposable lab coats, aprons, or coveralls.

Absorption Materials
Include universal absorbents such as commercial spill pads, pillows, spill socks, and loose absorbents.  Examples of commercial universal absorbents are MagicSorb™, Wyk® Safety Sorbent, 3M™ Chemical Sorbent, Chemsorb®, Pig® Absorbent Pads, or Hazorb®.

Cleanup Tools and Materials

  • Plastic scoop, dust pan, or shovel. Use plastic (polypropylene) when non-sparking tools are needed.
  • Plastic broom or brush for solids (polypropylene).
  • 3-5 thick, heavy duty waste bags.  DO NOT use red biohazard waste bags for non-biohazard spill debris.
  • Cardboard box to hold waste bag containing spill debris.
  • Sealing tape.
  • EHS hazardous waste labels.
  • Forceps or tongs for picking up broken glass or other sharps.
  • Detergent or general cleaner for final cleanup.

NOTE: Use disposable supplies when possible because contaminated cleanup tools are considered hazardous waste.

Additional Spill Response Items as Necessary for Your Work Area

  • Additional PPE such as face shields, chemical-resistant clothing or boots.
  • Neutralizing agents.
    • General neutralizing agents for acids and bases (see “Absorbents and Neutralizers” chart).
    • Chemical-specific neutralizers such as those for formaldehyde or solvents (see “Absorbents and Neutralizers” chart).
    • Mercury spill response items (see Module II).
    • Specialized supplies for air or water-reactive chemicals and hydrofluoric acid.
    • Bleach, if biological agents are used.
    • Specialized supplies if radioactive materials are used.