A UC Berkeley researcher was working in a lab with a highly corrosive sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide (piranha) solution to clean the surface of a glass sample in a fume hood.
After completing the work, the researcher found the existing waste container to be greater than 75 percent full. Rather than add the recently used piranha solution to the already overfilled waste container, the researcher found an additional empty waste container and attempted to pour off some of the overfilled waste into the empty bottle.
During this attempt, some of the corrosive material spilled inside the hood. Moments later, the researcher’s arm felt “itchy”. The researcher removed all personal protective equipment (PPE) including a face shield, splash goggles, sleeveless chemical apron, lab coat, nitrile and rubber butyl gloves, and immediately irrigated the affected area for 15 minutes.
Other lab members neutralized the spill inside the hood and on the lab coat. The researcher was escorted by a colleague to the Tang Center and treated for two small burns. After returning from the medical center, the researcher was able to make contact with emergency response professionals.