Skip to main content

General Procedures

  • Do NOT attempt to clean the spill.
  • Inform others in area and evacuate to a safe location.
  • Call 911 and follow instructions of emergency personnel.
  • Attend to anyone contaminated (including yourself) by utilizing emergency safety showers or eye washes.
  • Notify emergency personnel if you have been exposed or have information about its release.

Detailed Hazardous Material Information


Mercury is a silver-colored, odorless, non-flammable metal, that is in the liquid form under normal atmospheric conditions. Mercury can be dangerous to human health if it comes into contact with your skin or if vapors are inhaled. Potential sources of mercury can include fluorescent light bulbs, thermometers and older lab equipment.  If there is a spill in your area, close off the area and contact Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) at 919-962-5507. EHS Emergency Response Team will respond to the spill and has the proper equipment and procedures in place to deal with mercury spills. More information.

Indoor Air Quality/Black Water Events/Mold

There can be many causes of poor indoor air quality including mold, dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and others. Generally, an indoor air quality concern is not considered an emergency and you can submit a Request for Indoor Air Quality Investigation if you are experiencing air quality issues. If you are specifically concerned about mold growth in your area, submit a Request for Mold Investigation.

If flooding has occurred, close off the affected areas including the area directly below, if on an upper floor, and report flooding to Facilities Services at 919-962-3456. For a “black water event” or flooding that is a result of sewage overflow, follow the same procedure and ensure to decontaminate any clothing or body parts that have come in contact with the flood water.  Contact EHS at 919-962-5507 for decontamination concerns. For more information about indoor air quality and mold, please visit Environment, Health and Safety’s Indoor Air Quality page.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral which can be found in many building materials and other items. It is mostly found in items manufactured prior to 1981. To see if building materials in your area could be asbestos containing, you may review asbestos building reports  or contact EHS at 919-962-5507. Asbestos containing material can be dangerous to human health if it is in poor condition and has become friable (crumbled by hand pressure). If you suspect there is friable asbestos in an area, close off the area and contact EHS at 919-962-5507. For more information about asbestos, please visit Environment, Health and Safety’s asbestos page.