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6.1 Large Spills

EH&S will respond to large spills (greater than 200 ml) of BSL-2 (or above) containment level material. Contact EH&S for help with large spill clean up. See Section 7.4 or the Center's Emergency Guide for personnel exposure procedures.

6.2 Small Spills

  1. Put on gloves and eye protection if you are not already wearing them.
  2. Cover spilled material with an absorbent paper towel or Kimwipe. Once the absorbent material is in place over the spill, wet the material with a 10% solution of bleach or other appropriate disinfectant.
  3. Let stand 10 minutes, wipe up and wash surface with appropriate disinfectant.
  4. Wipe down all equipment and surfaces which may have been splashed.
  5. Check for additional information in the following spill procedures.

6.3 Spill in a Biosafety Cabinet

Note: Leave the cabinet turned on.

  1. Put on gloves, a lab coat, and eye protection if you are not already wearing them.
  2. Cover spilled material with an absorbent paper towel or kim wipe. Wet the absorbent once it's in place over the area with 10% solution of bleach or other appropriate disinfectant. Let stand 10 minutes, wipe up and wash surface with appropriate disinfectant.
  3. If staff are contaminated, remove outer contaminated garments at the BSC and proceed to the dressing room. Remove any potentially contaminated clothing and decontaminate by saturation with 70% ethanol or place in autoclave bag for autoclaving. Wash hands and other potentially exposed skin surfaces thoroughly. Put on fresh PPE, return to worksite, and spray walls, liners, and equipment with an appropriate disinfectant.
  4. Spray or wipe container walls, other work surfaces and equipment with the appropriate disinfectant
  5. If necessary, flood the work surface, drain pan and catch basin below the work surface with disinfectant. Allow at least 10 minutes contact time.
  6. Soak up the disinfectant and drain the catch basin into a container. Lift the front exhaust grille and tray and wipe all surfaces. Ensure that no foreign materials are blown into the area below the grille.
  7. If a 10% bleach solution is used on metal surfaces, rinse with water after decontamination is complete.
  8. If the spill overflows into the interior of the cabinet, more extensive decontamination of the cabinet may be necessary. Contact EH&S for decontamination of the cabinet.

6.4 Spill in the Laboratory

  1. If an infectious aerosol may exist outside of a biosafety cabinet, leave the room immediately, lock the door, post a warning sign and inform your supervisor. If clothing is contaminated, remove and turn the exposed side of fabric in on itself and place in biohazard container. Wait at least 30 minutes before reentering the lab to allow dissipation of aerosol created by the spill. During this time, review clean-up procedures, assemble material, and contact EH&S.
  2. Don fresh gloves, a lab coat or smock, and eye protection.
  3. Carefully lay disinfectant-soaked towels over the spill and pour more around the spill. Use more concentrated disinfectant if the volume of material will significantly dilute the disinfectant.
  4. Allow 10 minutes contact time.
  5. Use forceps to place sharp objects into a sharps container. Using an autoclavable dustpan and squeegee, tongs, etc., transfer all contaminated materials (paper towels, gloves, labware, etc.) to plastic bags and treat as waste.
  6. Wipe surrounding surfaces with disinfectant to cover all splash areas. Wipe flat surfaces to remove any material that may have splashed out and settled on those surfaces.
  7. Place all contaminated materials, including protective clothing, into a biohazard bag for autoclaving.
  8. Wash hands with soap and warm water.
  9. Complete an Accident-Illness Report form and report to EH&S if an exposure occurred.

6.5 Spill of Biologic or recombinant DNA & Radioactive Material

  1. Spills involving 14C,35S and/or 3H present no external hazard. Good aseptic technique will prevent internal radiation exposure to these radionuclides and prevent worker contamination with either the pathogen or the radioactive material. However, higher energy beta or gamma emitters and mixtures containing volatile radionuclides may require additional protective measures.
  2. Follow Procedure 6.2 except when dealing with radioactive iodines. Do not use bleach or strong chemicals to disinfect spilled iodines. Use phenols or alcohols.
  3. Follow Procedure 6.2 and remove contaminated clothing, turning the exposed side of the fabric in upon itself. Place in a biohazard bag with a radioactive materials sticker. Be sure to indicate the infectious agent, radionuclide, activity, lab number, your name, and the date. Call EH&S for pick up.
  4. Thoroughly wash all exposed skin with soap and water. Rinse for three minutes, dry, and monitor for residual radioactive contamination. If radioactive contamination remains, repeat the washing and decontamination procedures. Do not use harsh or abrasive cleansers or alcohol on skin.
  5. Inform the lab supervisor, notify the EH&S RSO, and monitor all potentially exposed staff for radioactive contamination.
  6. Ensure all contaminated materials, including protective clothing, are placed into a heavy plastic bag (e.g., LSA box liner), and label with a radioactive materials sticker. Do not autoclave. Add disinfectant to ensure decontamination of all materials. Equipment contaminated with short-lived radionuclides (half-life of 20 days or less) may be stored onsite as along as they are properly labeled for decay and subsequently reused. Call EH&S for pick up of equipment contaminated with long-lived radionuclides.
  7. Allow time for thorough drying of all disinfected surfaces and then monitor the spill area for residual radioactive contamination. The presence of radioactivity on surfaces warrants repeated disinfection and decontamination efforts.

6.6 Skin, Mucous Membrane, or Injury Exposure

  1. If there is an agent-specific protocol for exposures, follow that (e.g., HIV or Herpes B).
  2. In the case of skin contact or injury with a contaminated instrument:
    1. Thoroughly wash area with soap and water. Do not squeeze the wound to induce bleeding.
    2. Avoid use of abrasive chemical soaps or disinfectant washes as they can decrease skin integrity.
    3. For mucous membranes (e.g., eyes, mouth), flush for a minimum of 10 minutes, or for a minimum of 15 minutes when a chemical is present.
  3. Notify an EH&S occupational health nurse (OHN).
  4. If a OHN is not available, call the Physician Help Line at 206.781.8770 (or 800.927.8770) for evaluation of exposure immediately following:
    1. Contact with mucous membranes;
    2. Contact with non-intact skin;
    3. Percutaneous exposure; or
    4. Any type of exposure that involves concentrated virus.
  5. Complete an Accident-Illness Report Form and submit to EH&S at J3-200.

For any bite, scratch, or lesion that may have blood or body fluid exposure, perform the following:

  1. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
  3. Report to an OHN.
  4. Complete an Accident-Illness Report Form and submit to EH&S at J3-200.

For exposures to recombinant DNA, perform the following:

  1. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Cover the wound with a sterile dressing.
  3. Report to an OHN.
  4. Complete an Accident-Illness Report Form and submit to EH&S at J3-200
  5. Work with EH&S to report accident to OBA as required by the NIH Guidelines