A soda spill is a headache. A spill of the more sinister stuff like ammonia, bleach, mercury, oil-based paints, herbicides, or gun cleaners? That’s a hazard.
Hazardous material spills can cause:
- Lasting environmental damage
The last two on that list are a big fat yikes, if you ask me! Let’s avoid them by preparing.
What is a hazardous material spill?
Hazardous material spills are the uncontrolled release of a biological, chemical, or radiological substance which can cause potential damage and destruction to humans, animals, and/or the environment. For example, a major poop from your sweet baby (radioactive or otherwise) could be considered a hazardous spill if you don’t clean it up.
Hazardous material (or HazMat) spills can be classified into 2 types: major and minor.
- Less than 500 ml (a little less than 20 oz) of the substance is involved, and
- It does not pose an immediate fire, health, or safety hazard.
- The quantity of the spill is such that personnel cannot safely handle its cleanup;
- It presents an immediate danger to life, health, or the environment; or
- It can cause a fire hazard and/or an explosion.
“But I don’t have any hazardous materials at home!”
Remember that nonradioactive baby? You have more than you think! “Hazardous materials” sound like they belong in some laboratory with high security, but they’re everywhere.
Some examples of incidents that qualify as hazardous material spills include:
- Spilling more than one gallon of bleach
- Sloshing more than one gallon of gasoline
- Dripping any quantity of mercury
- Letting loose any amount of blood or other body fluids
Dozens of household items qualify as hazardous materials. Basically everything you’ve purchased to keep your house from devolving into a foul pit of filthy sadness is HazMat.
|Cleaning Products||Drain cleaner|
Tub and shower cleaner
Wood and metal cleaners
|Indoor Pesticides||Ant sprays|
Cockroach sprays and baits
Flea repellents and shampoos
Mouse and rat poisons
|Automotive Supplies||AC refrigerants|
Brake and transmission fluid
Fuel additives and fuel injection cleaners
|Adhesives and glues|
Stains and finishes
|Lawn/Garden Care Products||Fungicides|
|Flammable Products||Gas/oil mix|
Home heating oils
Propane tanks and other compressed gas cylinders
Fluorescent light bulbs
“Okay. I’ll be cautious. Do I still need to prepare?”
Yes. We demand satisfaction!
Hazardous materials can cause severe damage if spilled. And you may not be the source of the HazMat spill that affects you. Major spills can affect a much larger area than the immediate spill location. What would you do if you were in the harm radius of a hazardous material spill?
In all these situations, HazMat spill preparedness can save your health and the environment. Let’s learn!