True or False: You dont use a broom and dustpan to clean up chemical spills.?
This is probably obviously true.
But then what are they used for then? Please give examples. thanks!
spills. If strong bases are used in your
laboratory, it is also a good idea to keep a
supply of citric acid on hand to neutralize
base spills. A 2.5-kg bottle of citric acid
is large enough to neutralize the entire
contents of almost any bottle of base.
To save money, a homemade spill control
kit is easily prepared using three 5-gallon
plastic buckets. Fill the first 5-gallon bucket
with 30 pounds of clean, dry sand (available
as play sand at a discount or hardware
store). Fill a second 5-gallon bucket with
a 20-lb bag of unodorized kitty litter or
oil absorbent. Fill the last bucket with 30
lbs of sodium carbonate, anhydrous, also
known as soda ash. Soda ash is available
at industrial chemical, building supply, and
swimming pool supply distributors. Label
each bucket with the contents and cover the
top with plastic wrap to keep the contents
fresh and so the containers aren’t used as
garbage cans. Place a plastic broom, plastic
dustpan, and several large heavy-duty
plastic garbage bags near the spill control
kit for cleanup and disposal.
If mercury or mercury thermometers
are used in your classroom, mercury spill
control materials should be readily available.
Mercon spill control spray, wipes, and
sponges are available from Flinn and are
ideal for cleaning up mercury spills. Small
droplets of mercury can also be cleaned up
by sprinkling zinc dust on the spill area.
Zinc dust reacts with mercury to form a
very stable and safe amalgam that is easy to
handle and safe to dispose of in the trash.
Spill Control Procedures
A written contingency plan on how to
handle chemical spills should be part of
every school’s Chemical Hygiene Plan.
The following procedure is an example of
a contingency plan.
1. Quickly assess the spill, its hazards,
and the danger to yourself and your
students and take appropriate action.
If the spilled chemicals are unknown,
assume the worst and evacuate.
2. Notify other laboratory personnel of
the accident, and if necessary, evacuate
the area. The safety of you and your
students is always the top priority.
3. Tend to any injured or contaminated
person and if necessary request help. If
the chemical is splashed into an eye or
onto skin, immediately irrigate using an
eyewash or shower. If the chemical is
splashed on your clothes, you may have
time to first contain the spill with a fire
No matter what precautions you take,
sooner or later an accidental chemical spill
will occur. A responsible science teacher
will take steps to prevent spills, make sure
proper safety equipment is available to
contain and control the spill, and understand
how to use the safety equipment.
The first precaution to take for spill control
is spill prevention. Experiments and laboratories
should be designed to minimize
the possibility of chemical spills. Experiments
should use the minimal amount of
chemicals whenever possible. The less
chemical available, the smaller the spill.
Store and dispense chemicals in unbreakable
bottles, such as plastic or PVC-coated
glass bottles. Highly toxic materials should
be stored in a secondary containment
device, such as a Chem-Saf ™ bag (heavyduty
plastic bag) or a Saf-Stor™ can (metal
paint can). If a bottle is dropped, secondary
containment will contain the spill and may
actually prevent the spill from occurring.
Spill Control Equipment
Proper spill control equipment includes
fire blankets, spill control materials such as
sand, absorbent, neutralizer, and a mercury
spill control kit.
A 100% wool fire blanket is an excellent
spill control device because it will contain
and control a spill and its vapors. If a spill
occurs and other spill control materials are
not available, simply throw the fire blanket
over the spill. The blanket will begin to
absorb the liquid, contain the vapors, and
will enable a person to walk over the spill
without slipping. Remember, acid spilled
on a tile floor will make the floor very slippery—
the potential for slipping and falling
into the acid spill is a real danger.
Every lab should have spill control
materials that contain at least three
components: sand, an absorbing agent,
and a neutralizer. Spill control materials
should be capable of handling a spill from
the largest bottle used in your laboratory,
which is usually a 2.5-L acid bottle
(remember, Murphy’s Law states that the
largest bottle is the one that will break).
Sand is used to contain a spill, provide
traction, and prevent the spill from rapidly
spreading across the tile floor. The absorbent
contains and absorbs the liquid spill
so it is easier to clean up, transport, and
dispose. Neutralizer is usually a base such
as sodium carbonate or calcium hydroxide
and is used to neutralize inorganic acidblanket or spill control materials and then
treat yourself. Remember, if you use a
safety shower near a chemical spill, the
water may expand the spill are
The dustpan VS pet fox Ron
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