Hazardous Material Spill

Campus response

SPU’s response to a hazardous material spill will depend on the specific nature, extent, and location of the spill.

In general, SPU will evacuate and isolate the area of the spill, notify external advisors and/or authorities (if applicable), and prevent people from accessing the affected area until it has been cleared for re-entry.

What to do if a spill occurs inside:

  • Immediately evacuate the building. If you cannot evacuate, request help.
  • Close all doors, open windows, and turn off heat.
  • If there is risk of an explosion, stay away from the windows to prevent injury from flying glass.
  • If you suspect that gas or vapors are in the air, take shallow breaths through a cloth or towel.

What to do if a spill occurs outside:

  • Move uphill and upwind; hazardous materials can be transported quickly through air and water.
  • Go to a protected, interior area of a building where toxic vapors are reduced, and close windows and doors.
  • Notify the Office of Safety and Security at 206-281-2911 from a safe location as soon as it is practical.

What NOT to do:

  • Do not attempt to clean up a spill.
  • Do not touch or step in spilled materials.

What to do after being exposed to:

Corrosives. These are substances that cause visible destruction or permanent changes of the skin tissue upon contact.

  • Wash your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes if they are affected. Eyelids must be open; do not rub the injured area.
  • Get under a shower; remove all clothing; wash with soap and water.

Flammables. These are liquids with a flash point below 100 degrees F with gases that burn readily.

  • Turn off the main electricity and natural gas.
  • Evacuate the building.

Toxics. These are poisonous substances.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Discard contaminated clothing or objects.
  • Use the appropriate antidotes.

Reactives. These are substances that can undergo a chemical or other change that may result in an explosion, burning, and corrosive or toxic conditions.

  • Close all doors.
  • Evacuate the danger area.
  • Follow decontamination instructions from fire or health authorities.

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