Indoor Air Quality

Spills and Leaks

Spills and leaks during normal work hours may be reported to the Environmental Health & Safety at 662-325-3294. After hours or if you cannot reach anyone at EHS, report the spill to the MSU Police at 662-325-2121.

When making a report, be prepared to provide the following:

  • Your name and phone number
  • Location of the spill
  • Nature of the spill or leak and the materials involved

When a spill or suspected spill occurs, a report should be made as soon as possible so that measures to control and clean up the spill can begin. In some cases, notifications to regulatory agencies are required.

If significant vapors or fumes are produced, evacuate the area. If necessary, use the fire alarm.

Below are quick summaries of common hazardous materials on campus that require reporting:

Gasoline
Diesel, Hydraulic Fluids, Engine Oils
Mercury
Flammable Solvents
Acid
Natural Gas

Gasoline

When gasoline spills occur, the gasoline and the cleanup materials must be collected and processed as hazardous waste. Report this type of spill immediately for assistance with cleanup.

Diesel, Hydraulic Fluids, Engine Oils

When any of these materials are spilled, all of the material must be absorbed. If the spill is large, assistance may be required by off-campus contractors. These spills must be cleaned such that an oil sheen will not be produced on runoff water. Contaminated soil must also be excavated. If all liquids are solidified and no other contaminants are present, these materials may be eligible for disposal at a solid waste landfill.

Mercury

Most mercury spills are caused by broken thermometers. Larger spills can occur when manometers break. Spilled mercury is a safety concern to those working in the area as well as a long-term environmental problem. When any amount of mercury is spilled, isolate the area and report the spill immediately. Cleanup requires special equipment.

Flammable Solvents

Small spills should be absorbed with paper towels, oil dry, or other suitable absorbent material. All debris should be bagged and placed in a leak-tight container. Submit a waste pickup ticket to EHS for collection and disposal.

Acid

Hydrofluoric, fuming nitric, or fuming sulfuric acid spills should be isolated and reported immediately. Other acid spills should be neutralized and cleaned up. When possible, turn on fume hoods to assist with vapor removal.

Natural Gas Leaks

Activate the fire alarm and evacuate the building. Remember that small gas leaks can produce explosive concentrations!