Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 22:36:18 -0500
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Subject: 3 RE: [DCHAS-L] Setting Up Spill Kits...

From: Paul Sonnenfeld <p_sonnenfeld**At_Symbol_Here**>< /font>
Date: November 10, 2009 8:55:25 PM EST
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Setting Up Spill Kits...

When I set up spill kits, I also consider the types of materials that are likely to spill. While NAS Whidbey Island, f or petroleum hydrocarbons (solvents included) I recommend the white, hydrophilic pads, preferably the 200 weight, dimpled style.  The weight and the dimples significantly influence the absorbency of this pads.  I'd also recommend the corn-cob based absorbent.  This material has a few advantages over "kitty litter" and other clay-based material. The Dri-zorb 100 is incredibly aggressive for liquids and has the advantage of having enough BTU value to be burned as a fuel.  In addition, the dri-zorb 100 leaves polished floors looking really shiny (quite impressive on hangar floors).  An obvious caveat is to avoid using the dri-zorb for sulfuric acid.

The grey universal pads work very well for aqueous solutions.  Again, I recommend the 200 weight pads.  

I recommend placing the pads in separate color-coded bags to that when you train folks, they know to use the contents of one bag for aqueous spills and another, different color bag for organic spills.

We use nitrile gloves (4-mil) for most spill responses, except for ketones;MEK melts the nitrile in about 15 seconds.

Your kits need to include safety glasses and face shields.  Tyvek or Saranex coveralls are helpful, but for small spills, quite frankly, the responder is NOT going to bother putting this on.

The acid and alkali neutralizers with the color changing agent are good tools for novice responders.  The off-gassing tends to be minimal.

Mats to cover floor drains or flexible plugs to put in floor drains will save you lots of headaches (think of the NIST radioactive material down the drain incident).

Two 8-foot lengths of 2 or 3-inch boom can be fairly effective to contain the liquid, or atl east slow its spread.

You need to train the responders to understand in no uncertain terms, the limits of their capabilities.  If the spill is bigger than 1-gallon, or is an extremely "exciting" compound, its time to clear the area and call the fire department.

Paul Sonnenfeld, CPEA 


From: "Lucy Dillman" <lucydillman**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: November 10, 2009 6:35:10 PM EST
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Setting Up Spill Kits...

I remember using the neutralizing agent in an acid spill kit, and it sort of melted the bench because of the heat generated.  It wasn't a big spill either, maybe 10 mL of  acid.

Lucy Dillman

From: Gordon Weir <gordonweir**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: November 10, 2009 5:24:19 PM EST
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Setting Up Spill Kits...

A number of years ago while I was still working in the Chemistry Department, our "Hazchem" group developed our own spill mix.

It consists of approximately equal parts of sand (to moderate any chemical reactions), kitty litter (to absorb), and soda ash (to neutralize acid spills). The ingredients are cheap, allowing us to prepare the mix in bulk at reasonable cost. The idea is that each lab keeps an appropriately-sized container of this mix on hand. In the event of a spill, the mix can be applied to the spill, then after a suitable time can be swept up with whisk broom and dustpan, then bagged for disposal.

I know that in some parts of the States, the regulatory climate is much different than it is here in Canada, so there might be some legal pitfalls to this procedure; but the mix itself has served us well over the years.

Gordon Weir
General Safety Officer (soon to retire)
Office of Environmental Health and Safety
University of Alberta

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