How to Clean Up a Corrosive Chemical Spill

By on July 13, 2017

How to Clean Up a Corrosive Chemical Spill: What to do and What You’ll Need

When a corrosive chemical is spilled, people often panic or are unsure of how to proceed. While corrosive chemicals are certainly dangerous and must be treated accordingly, cleanup isn’t as difficult or complicated as many people fear. Here is a quick guide for the steps to take after a corrosive chemical gets spilled.

Oil spill pollution response team .

What You’ll Need:

Protective Gear:
When dealing with a corrosive substance, safety is paramount. The right personal protective gear (PPE for short,) will ensure that nobody is harmed during cleanup. For protection, you’ll need protective eyewear, preferably chemical safety goggles with a face shield, as well as an air-purifying respirator and professional-grade rubber gear, including boots, mask, and suit.Absorbent Materials:
To soak up the spilled chemical, absorbent pads or pillows are a must-have. They are extremely easy to use, as they simply involve placing the absorbent material on the spill, with the number of pads or pillows needed depending on the size of the spill. It is important, however, to make sure that you are using inert, non-combustible absorbent materials to ensure safety and efficiency during cleanup.

Chemical Spill Kit:
For safety’s sake, it is recommended that you use chemical spill kits to clean up. These are readily available online or in stores, and should be kept in any building or workplace where corrosive chemicals are handled. When dealing with a corrosive acid, an acid neutralizing agent should be used. These agents are usually weak bases such as sodium carbonate or calcium carbonate and come in a powdered form that is sprinkled on the spill. They are included in many spill kits, and specific acid neutralization kits are also available.

Waste Handling Supplies:
To dispose of waste after cleanup, you’ll need heavy-duty waste bags as well as tape to seal them, plus hazardous waste labels. A sealable container (preferably plastic,) and plastic mixing tools are also required, as these can be safely and effectively used with corrosive chemicals.

The Process:
Once you have all the required materials on-hand, cleaning up a corrosive chemical spill isn’t difficult. First, make sure that anyone not involved in the clean-up is clear of the spill, and make sure all cleaners are wearing the proper protective gear. Shut off any nearby ignition sources, and avoid touching or walking through the spill if possible.

Spread the absorbent pads or pillows over the spill, making sure that the entire area is covered. When working with a neutralizing agent, work from the edges of the spill inward, sprinkling the powdered agent as you go and mixing with plastic tools. Kits should come with pH paper, use this to test the area and make sure the chemicals have been neutralized. For waste removal, dispose of any cleaning materials whatsoever, as they should all be considered hazardous waste. Afterward, ventilate the area to remove any fumes and wash the area down with water and detergent, and test again with pH paper at the end.