Cleaning up after a spill is a necessity, and more often than not, an immediate necessity. A spill, no matter the material, is a hazard in any environment. Different types of spills offer different hazards, but every spill creates a hazard in some way. Sometimes it may be a slip and fall hazard, sometimes a more serious hazard to people, animals and other living things. Enter Sorbents. A sorbent is a material used to absorb liquids or gases. Sorbents have a large internal surface area, allowing it to absorb more than its weight. Sorbents also have good thermal conductivity, and is typically supplied in small pellets or grains. Certain types of sorbents are used for particular liquids. For example, some sorbents are only absorbent of oil or petroleum based fluids. Other sorbents may be more universal and offer absorbency of water, petroleum or chemical based fluids. Sorbents also come in the form of pads, mats, rolls or booms. Pads, rolls and mats are good for small leaks or widespread spills, whereas booms come in especially handy when dealing with fast spreading spills. Pads, mats, rolls and boom sorbents come in a variety of absorbency's. Have on hand heavyweight pads for big spills and lightweight pads or mats for small spills.
In the case of slow leaking equipment, consider wrapping a boom around the leak to contain the contaminant. Consider the type of sorbents needed in the workplace to be sure to have what is needed in the case of a spill. Grain or pellet sorbents are also known to absorb viscous material spills, but also odors and can be easily swept up in preparation for disposal. Many of the mat or roll sorbents are also easily handled in preparation for disposal. When using sorbents for clean up, contact your local waste management for legal guidelines and information on disposal. Once a sorbent has absorbed a liquid and is now a solid waste, they may still be considered a hazardous material and must be disposed of properly. Always wear protective clothing such as footwear, eye wear, gloves and if necessary, a respirator for protection when cleaning up or working with hazardous materials. If the spill cannot be contained or employees have not received the proper training, the local hazardous materials team must be called in immediately. For any sorbents needed in the workplace, turn to Reliable Paper where you will find a large selection of types, absorbency's and styles to fit your needs from the top brands in sorbents.