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Environmental Health & Safety

Occupational Safety Unit

Spill Procedure for Anesthetic Agents


Procedure for Operating Room Anesthesia medical personnel and technicians to cleanup small spills (<500 ml) of anesthetic agents such as Isoflurane, Sevoflurane, Desflurane, and Halothane. Ancillary groups that may encounter a spill of anesthetic agent such as MPD and ESW should notify Anesthesia personnel of the spill. MPD and ESW are not trained to cleanup spills of anesthetic agents.

Note: Inhaling anesthetic agents can cause drowsiness and dizziness and irritation to skin and eyes on contact. Anesthetic agents evaporate readily at room temperature.

Equipment needed/Spill Kit contents:

  • 2 Absorbent pads (i.e. PIG™ brand absorbent pads)
  • 2 Leak-proof sealable bags (i.e. Ziplock™ gallon freezer bags) and container with lid
  • Tongs/tweezers to pick up large pieces of broken glass (optional)
  • PPE
    • Nitrile or butyl rubber gloves
    • Safety glasses/goggles
    • 3M 8247 mask for nuisance organic vapor relief (or equivalent mask)
    • Disposable fluid-resistant apron
    • Pair of booties (optional)

Small Spill (<500) Cleanup Procedure:

  1. Evacuate area if possible, or at a minimum, restrict pedestrian traffic from area of spill.
  2. >Get the Spill Kit and don the PPE as required
  3. Bring bucket with spill cleanup equipment to spill area. Remove any remaining items from bucket.
  4. Carefully pick up large pieces of broken glass and put in bucket.
  5. Place absorbent pads on spill area, start on outside of spill and work toward center. Place soaked absorbent pads into the Ziplock bag (use caution if there are small pieces of broken glass present). Continue using absorbent pads as needed. Seal bag, place in bucket and put lid on bucket.
  6. Rinse spill area with water and then wipe up with paper towels. If needed, mop with clean water. Put up “Caution: Slippery when Wet” sign until floor dries.
  7. Place contaminated disposable PPE in separate bag, place in bucket and replace lid tightly. Uncontaminated disposable PPE can go in regular trash. Wipe outer lid with wet paper towel to remove any residual chemical contamination.
  8. Contact EHS (Environmental Health & Safety) at 275-2056 for Hazardous Waste Pickup.
  9. Complete Spill Report - BlankSpillReport
  10. Replace spill kit contents

During the cleanup, if you experience irritation, dizziness or drowsiness you believe may be from cleaning up the spill, leave the immediate area and notify your supervisor.


Personnel discovering a spill of more than 500ml (2 bottles) should evacuate the immediate location if possible, keep people from entering the location, and call the appropriate emergency number:

  • For on-site locations (i.e. SMH, WCC, GCH or ACF) call Public Safety x13 for an EH&S Spill Team response. When emergency responders arrive, provide factual information concerning the spill (the agent spilled, the estimated quantity, where the spill occurred, and a Safety Data Sheet).
  • >For off-sites during normal work hours, call the EH&S Main Office (585-275-3241). After hours call Public Safety (585-275-3333).

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 4/8/2021. Disclaimer.