Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Student in Lab

Biological Spills

Biological spills are those than involve potentially hazardous microorganisms or possibly contaminated bodily fluids.

Cleaning up a biological spill step by step:

  1. Help anybody that might be contaminated by flushing the area splashed. The safety shower, eye wash unit, or the sink can be used for this purpose.
  2. Inform persons in the vicinity of the spill. Evacuate all nonessential personnel from the spill area, and post danger signs.
  3. Put on protective equipment. This includes a laboratory coat with long sleeves, tear-resistant gloves (wear two pairs), disposable shoe covers and safety goggles.
  4. Cover spill with paper towels.
  5. Carefully pour a freshly prepared 1 to 10 dilution of household bleach. First bleach the edges and then the center areas. Avoid splashing.
  6. Let the spill soak for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes clean the spill with fresh towels soaked in bleach or disinfectant.
  8. Bleached materials are disinfected and can go in the trash, Bleach Cannot Be Autoclaved.
  9. Remove gloves one at the time by grasping the wrist end and pulling. toward the fingers. The gloves should then come inside out.
  10. All contaminated protective equipment should be placed in another waste bag and autoclaved.
  11. Vigorously wash hands, arms and shoe soles with lots of soap and water for at least one full minute.
  12. Report incident to laboratory supervisor and Chemical Safety Officer at (x7280).