How to Respond in an Emergency

  • No one has been exposed to the chemical (skin, eyes, etc.)
  • Classroom faculty/staff have sufficient equipment and training to clean up the spill

    In the event of a minor chemical spill:

    • Protect yourself and others. Avoid direct contact with the spilled material. Wear protective clothing such as gloves and goggles during clean up. Treat all chemicals as if they are hazardous.
    • Contain the spill and secure the area. Cordon off the spill area; do not walk through, or allow others to walk through the spilled material.
    • If properly trained, clean up the spill using the chemical spill kit. If not contact Campus Security. Security will contact housekeeping and the Environmental Health and Safety.
    • Dispose of the material in chemical waste container.
    • Clean up: Wash hands thoroughly, even if there is no visible contamination.
    • Replace items used in the spill kit by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 312.499.4924.


    A major chemical spill is when:

    • A chemical is flammable, reactive, or toxic
    • Someone has been exposed to the chemical (skin, eyes, etc)
    • The spill is greater than 1 liter
    • Too much of a chemical has been spilled for the amount of absorbent in the classroom.


    In the event of a major or unknown chemical spill:

    • Protect yourself and others. Shut off any ignition sources and stop the source of the spill if you can do without endangering yourself.
    • The instructor/staff in the class will determine, by the nature of the spill, if evacuation of the room is warranted.
    • If the spill requires evacuation, contact Campus Security immediately and inform them of the emergency. Provide the following information:
      • Your name
      • Specific location of the spill
      • Name of the substance spilled (if known)
      • Quantity of spill (if known)
      • Facilities Operations and Environmental Health and Safety will determine if evacuation of additional rooms or the entire building is required.