Chemical Spills

Types of Spills

There are two types of spills that you may run into: Simple Chemical Spills and Complicated Chemical Spills.

Simple Chemical Spills are small, confined, and present minimal hazards. You can clean these up. Neutralize or absorb the spill. Contact EHS if you have any questions.

Remember, if the spilled material is hazardous it must be treated as such after it has been cleaned up. Check with EHS for guidance on disposal of spill clean up materials.

Complicated Chemical Spills first need to be identified as complicated. Ask the following questions:

  • Is the identity of the chemical unknown?
  • Are multiple chemicals involved?
  • Is the material highly toxic, highly corrosive, flammable, or reactive?
  • Did the spill occur in a public space, such as a hallway?
  • Is the spill in danger of spreading to other parts of the building, such as through the ventilation system?
  • Are you unsure about how to clean this spill up?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions you have a Complicated Spill. In response to a Complicated Spill you should follow the procedures below.

Procedures for Complicated Chemical Spills

  1. Seek medical attention if applicable.
  2. Shut off equipment, if safe to do so.
  3. Evacuate the area to the extent appropriate.
  4. Warn fellow workers and supervisors.
  5. Call Environmental Health & Safety at (573) 882-7018. At night, on weekends, or holidays call the University of Missouri Police Department at (573) 882-7201.
  6. Take action to contain the spill if it is possible to do so without jeopardizing personal well being.
  7. Remain in the area to provide information to emergency responders.
  8. Do not call state or national chemical numbers without prior authorization from EHS, unless the spill is of disaster proportions and immediate contact with EHS is impossible.

Spill Kits

EHS does not normally provide spill kits to users of hazardous materials; however, we have arranged special pricing with Fisher Scientific for some of their kits to encourage MU labs to purchase them. Discounted MU pricing is only available through the eProcurement system (contact your department’s fiscal officer for assistance). The kits included are shown in the table below.

Fisher Catalog Number Description
17-985-128 Spill response kit 6 gallon drum
19-034-159 Mini Spill Kit
17-206A Spill response kit 20 gallon drum
17-206B Spill response kit 55 gallon drum
19-034-96B Chemical spill cabinet

These kits are designed to be as universal as possible; if you find that they do not suit your needs, call (573) 882-3736, or email


spill kit