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In Case of a Spill

Small spills (as defined by your facility) may in most instances be handled by laboratory or other employees. However, if you experience symptoms of overexposure during the clean up, such as burning eyes or throat irritation, immediately leave the cleanup area and get help from your institution's Spill Response team or other designated persons.

Major spills (as defined by your facility) will usually require immediate assistance from the Spill Response team or other designees.

There are several ways to clean up small spills, two of which are described below:

1. Dike up the formaldehyde with absorbent pillows. Then dispose of these pillows in a sealed, formaldehyde-labeled container.

2. A chemical that reacts with and neutralizes formalin may be used to treat the spill.

Your supervisor will show you the location of these emergency spill clean-up materials or discuss alternative procedures. Be sure to follow your own institution's policies and procedures in regard to formalin spills.