BIOHAZARD SPILL IN THE LABORATORY
Spills Inside a Biological Safety Cabinet
Spills Outside a Biological Safety Cabinet
3. Large Spill of Biosafety Level 2 Material (>500 ml)
3. Personal Contamination
and Clean Up of Blood (Biohazard) Spills
Spills and Preparing for Them
- Minimize the consequences of any spill of biological material by performing work on plastic-backed liners to absorb spills.
- Have a simple spill kit on hand including:
- Chlorine bleach or some other concentrated disinfectant appropriate for the materials/organisms present,
- A package or roll of paper towels,
- Autoclavable bags,
- Rubber gloves,
- Forceps for pick-up of broken glass.
Spills Inside a Biological Safety Cabinet
- Leave the cabinet turned on.
- While wearing gloves, spray or wipe cabinet walls, work surfaces, and equipment with an appropriate disinfectant or a disinfectant equivalent to 1:10 bleach solution. If necessary, flood the work surface, as well as drain pans and catch basins below the work surface, with disinfectant for a contact time of at least 20 minutes.
- Soak up disinfectant and spill with paper towels. Drain catch basin into a container. Lift front exhaust grill and tray and wipe all surfaces. Ensure that no paper towels or solid debris are blown into the area beneath the grill.
- Autoclave all clean-up materials before disposal in the biohazard waste container. Wash hands and any exposed surfaces thoroughly after the clean-up procedure.
Spills Outside of a Biological Safety Cabinet
Small Spill (Spills that can be covered by a few paper towels)
- Wearing gloves and a lab coat, cover the spill with paper towels and gently apply disinfectant, proceeding from the outer edge of the spill to its center. Leave in place for 20 minutes.
- Pick up the towels and discard into a biohazard container. Pick up any pieces of broken glass with forceps, tongs, or scoops and place them into a sharps container.
- Re-wipe the spill area with disinfectant and thoroughly wash hands after glove removal.
Large Spill of Biosafety Level 2 Material (>500ml)
- Hold your breath and leave the room immediately.
- Warn others to stay out of the spill area to prevent the spread of contamination. Secure the area and post the "Emergency, Do Not Enter" sign (found in the hallway spill kit) or an equivalent sign. Also, post contact information (name and phone number) and the nature of the hazard.
- Wash hands and exposed skin and inform your Principal Investigator or Laboratory Supervisor and Environmental Health and Radiation Safety about the spill.
- Put on protective clothing (lab coat, gloves and, if indicated, surgical mask or respirator, eye protection, shoe covers) and assemble clean-up materials.
- Wait 30-60 minutes before re-entering the contaminated area to allow dissipation of aerosols.
- Cover the spill with paper towels and gently apply an appropriate disinfectant (e.g., 10% clorox mixed daily, phenolic, iodophor) proceeding from the outer edge of the spill to its center. Leave in place for 20 minutes.
- Collect all treated material and discard in a biohazard container. Pick up any broken glass with forceps, tongs, or scoops and place them into a sharps container.
- Re-wipe the spill area with disinfectant and wash hands thoroughly at completion of clean-up.
- Quickly remove all contaminated clothing while using the safety shower or other available sources of water.
When possible, place contaminated clothing in a biohazard bag to be autoclaved later.
- Flush the skin immediately with copious amounts of water for approximately 15 minutes and thoroughly wash using mild soap and luke warm water. Do not abrade the skin or use hot water.
- Seek medical attention if necessary. Call 911 and contact Public Safety (215-596-7000).
- If aerosol formation is believed to have been associated with the incident, the contaminated person shall leave the contaminated area immediately. If possible, go to another laboratory area so that hallways and other public areas do not become contaminated.
- For eye splashes, hold the eyes open and irrigate with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Seek medical attention promptly. Call 911 and contact Public Safety (215-596-7000).
- Notify the Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department whenever any case of skin or body contamination or inhalation exposure occurs. *
* The EHRS Department is required to report laboratory accidents, illnesses, and exposures involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids and transgenic plants and animals to the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities.
If anyone is unsure of what personal protective equipment
to use or how to clean a spill, talk to your supervisor or call the Environmental
Health and Radiation Safety (EHRS) Department. (X8925, X8843 or X3141)
A Laboratory Incident Report must be completed and forwarded to EHRS.
Information on Chemical Personal Contamination.
on chemical spills.
Decontamination and Clean up of Blood Spills