What to do in case of a chemical emergency


Skin

IN CASE OF AN EXPOSURE OF CHEMICALS TO THE SKIN:

  1. Remove and clothing in contact with the affected area.
  2. Flush under a strong stream of water for at least 15 minutes.
  3. If irritation or injury continues, seek immediate medical attention.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS SERIOUS, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AT ONCE.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS LIFE-THREATENING, CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.
  • AN ACCIDENT REPORT FORM MUST BE COMPLETED AND SENT TO THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

-Top of page-

Eyes

IN CASE OF AN EXPOSURE OF CHEMICALS TO THE EYES:

  1. Remove contact lenses immediately. By-standers may need to assist a victim.
  2. Flush in a stream of water for at least 15 minutes. Make sure the eyelids are held open and away from the eye itself.
  3. Regardless of the chemical involved, seek immediate medical attention. Residual amounts of chemicals may cause damage at a later date. Only a physician can assess the situation.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS SERIOUS, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AT ONCE.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS LIFE-THREATENING, CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.
  • AN ACCIDENT REPORT FORM MUST BE COMPLETED AND SENT TO THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

-Top of page-

Allergic Reactions

IN CASE OF SKIN IRRITATION AND/OR ALLERGIC REACTION TO CHEMICALS:

  1. Flush area with water for 15 minutes.
  2. Contact a physician for advice on remedies to prevent symptoms.
  3. If contacting a physician is impractical, consider using a hand lotion. Many chemicals dry the skin, and hand lotions usually work
  4. If the injury is a burn, apply a burn treatment preparation.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS SERIOUS, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AT ONCE.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS LIFE-THREATENING, CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.
  • AN ACCIDENT REPORT FORM MUST BE COMPLETED AND SENT TO THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

-Top of page-

Difficulty Breathing

IN CASE OF DIZZINESS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, OR DIFFICULTY BREATHING:

  1. Immediately move to a source of fresh air. Sit or lay down to prevent physical activity.
  2. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms persist for more than five minutes.
  3. Administer artificial respiration to a victim thay has stopped breathing.
  4. Administer CPR to a victim without pulse if you are qualified.
  5. Call for an ambulance if the victim is unconscious or continues to have difficulty breathing.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS SERIOUS, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AT ONCE.
  • IF AN INJURY APPEARS LIFE-THREATENING, CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY.
  • AN ACCIDENT REPORT FORM MUST BE COMPLETED AND SENT TO THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

-Top of page-

IN CASE OF A CHEMICAL SPILL:

If the chemical is relatively non-hazardous and a small quantity has been spilled:

  1. Absorb leak with paper towel, rags, sawdust, vermiculite, or other absorbant.
  2. Dispose of in trash.

If the chemical is relatively non-hazardous but a large quantity has been spilled:

  1. Stop the leak if possible.
  2. Dike the spill area with impermeable barriers, absorbent, etc. – Absorb leak with paper towel, rags, sawdust, vermiculite, or other absorbant.
  3. CONTACT THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE AND INSTRUCTIONS ON DISPOSAL.

If the chemical is moderately hazardous:

  1. Restrict access to the spill area.
  2. Contact a Teaching Assistant, a professor, or the Chemical Hygiene Office for instructions and assistance.
  3. THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER WILL ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLEAN-UP.

If the chemical is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE, TOXIC, OR DANGEROUS:

  1. Evacuate the laboratory/area.
  2. Notify the Chemical Hygiene Office and a professor immediately.
  3. Be prepared to evacuate a larger area if the spill and/or vapors spread.
  4. If the chemical begins burning or reacting violently, evacuate the building and call the Fire Department.
  5. Be sure to advise the dispatcher that hazardous chemicals are involved in the fire.
  6. Give details about the name, quantity, and location of the incident.
  7. THE CHEMICAL HYGIENE OFFICER WILL ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR CLEAN-UP.

-Top of page-

UNCONTROLLABLE OR VIOLENT REACTIONS

  1. Small reactions may be quenched by the laboratory worker.
  2. Removing heat or a source of energy will stop many reactions.
  3. Some reactions may need to be quenched by cooling, adding another reagent, and simply by allowing the reaction to proceed to completion. If the lab worker can control the reaction this way, there is no need to proceed further.
  4. If a reaction must be abandoned, close the sash on the fume hood, shut off all energy sources, and leave immediately – evacuate the laboratory.
  5. Be prepared to evacuate the floor if toxic vapors or fire spreads.
  6. Immediately notify a professor and the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
  7. If a large fire occurs, call the fire department. Be prepared to advise the dispatcher that hazardous materials are involved.

-Top of page-