Air Force official claims staff ordered to clean up hazardous chemical spill with vacuums

Military documents claim authorities at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base failed to report a 2007 mercury spill, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The news source reports that untrained workers handled environmental cleanup with vacuum cleaners rather than following federal protocol, which requires officials to contact experts in situations requiring chemical removal.

Workplace mercury exposure can cause neurological, leg and skin problems, and failure to properly remove the chemical could put thousands of Air Force base employees’ health at risk. Attorney Scot A. Boyd told the news source a whistleblower reported that more than 60 pounds of mercury leaked when workers removed at least a dozen ring balance meters containing the substance. 

Contacting qualified professionals to handle cleanup may have eliminated any dangers at the Air Force facility, but employees can limit workplace risks with simple solutions as well. The XSORB universal sock is a product that helps reduce chemical spill damage.

Using the universal sock allows people to prevent spills from leaking into sensitive areas including walkways and drains. The product can absorb up to 4 quarts of liquid spills, and is tough enough to handle caustic chemicals. In addition, the solution molds easily around barrels or machinery, and is ideal in industrial environments. 

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