Hazardous Materials and Waste

What to do after a hazardous material spill

In the event of a hazardous material spill on the Missouri State campus, follow these procedures: 

  1. Warn workers and supervisors. 

  2. Evacuate the area. 
  3. Notify the hazardous waste coordinator and Campus Safety. 
  4. Take action to contain the spill if possible, without jeopardizing safety. 

Laboratory spills 

If you can clean up the spill, take action to neutralize or absorb it without jeopardizing safety. 

Safety for cleaning up a spill 

Use appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) and rubber gloves to prevent burns and damage. Use proper respiratory wear for organics and fuming acids.  

Try not to inhale the fumes, as they may have harmful health effects. Use proper respiratory wear, such as a protective suit, for organic and fuming acids. If unsure what to do, evacuate the room to prevent exposure. 

If unsure what to do, evacuate the room to prevent exposure. Lab technicians and instructors can generally clean up caustic waste.   

Spill kit information 

There are spill kits in the chemistry laboratories in Temple Hall and in Kemper 109. The kits include absorbent material, baking soda for neutralizing acids, rubber gloves, a broom and dust pan. There is a plastic bag to clean up material from small spills. 

For larger spills, the hazardous waste coordinator coordinates the clean-up and removal of the waste material. 

Sewage spills/overflows 

If you come across a sewage spill, follow these steps: 

  1. Use dri-sorb, straw, sand or other inert material to contain the spill. 
  2. Recover and dispose liquid waste into the sanitary sewers.  
  3. Spray the contaminated material and spill area with a bleach solution. 
  4. Bag the contaminated absorbent material and place it in the dumpster.

Responsibilities of the hazardous waste coordinator

The hazardous waste coordinator will be responsible for the following notifications: 

  • Decide which regulatory agencies (if any) should be notified. 

  • Act as liaison with regulatory personnel who may respond to the scene. 
  • Assist in procuring the service of a certified cleanup contractor when needed. 

The staff member first finding the spill or responding to it is only responsible for containing the spill. He/she will not clean up the material if it is greater than five gallons. 

Reporting petroleum spills 

Report spills by calling the Radio Communications Center (RCC) at 417-836-5509.  

Per Missouri state law, report petroleum spills over 50 gallons to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. (573-634-2436).  

Per federal law, report a petroleum spill if it reaches or threatens any waterway. Waterways include sewers, groundwater and road ditches that drain into other waterways.  

RCC will notify the director of environmental management and campus safety, who will respond to and assess the incident. 

Controlling small spills 

Use absorbent materials available from environmental management. You may use other materials such as sand, dirt, straw or kitty litter to contain the material. 

Use absorbent booms for larger spills threatening waterways. Booms are available from environmental management and are also located in MSU campus safety vehicles.   

We will call a spill response company to remove the material and contaminated debris. The university has a spill response contractor on call for major spills. 


The environmental management department or an outside contractor provides decontamination.