Unanticipated Reaction Between a Spilled Chemical and the Spill Absorbent
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Chemical Safety, Emergency Management, Material Handling/Storage, Laboratory

Chemical spills should be cleaned up with absorbents that are compatible and in accordance with the manufacturers specifications.

A technician accidentally dropped a one quart glass bottle of an Epoxy Curing Agent. The spill was cleaned up using GREEN STUFF Absorbent and placed into a metal garbage can. Five days later the garbage can was found smoldering with no signs of flames. The Fire Marshal found that the GREEN STUFF and the spilled chemicals had formed a semi-rigid mass that was charred in the middle, and there were small charred scraps of paper and wood. Additionally, the plastic bag used to collect the cleanup debris was partially melted. The absorbent is not compatible for cleaning up all chemicals. The compatibility list should be on hand for review by all users of absorbent.

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