Chemical spills: Take quick action to avoid injury

Knowing what to do when a spill occurs protects you, your family and helps safeguard Michigan’s water resources.

Homemade chemical spill kitChemical spills do happen. It may be a small spill that you can handle with a spill kit or one that you are not able to handle yourself. In either case, the trick is to be prepared.

When a spill occurs, follow these steps of proper spill response:

For a wet spill, use cat litter, activated charcoal, soil or sawdust to absorb the chemical, then sweep it up and dispose of it material properly. Take contaminated materials to a local household hazardous waste collection program or contact a local Clean Sweep collection site. Never wash a spill down a drain as most drains lead directly to lakes, rivers or streams.

For more information on preventing environmental contamination risks in and around the home, an excellent resource is the “Home*A*Syst – Home Assessment Guide (WQ-51),” available through the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Bookstore.

For information on how to make a spill kit at home, see the article “Chemical spills: Build a simple spill kit at home.”