In this incident, a spill of formaldehyde, a toxic, volatile chemical, was suspected at a large research facility where a large number of biological samples preserved in formaldehyde were stored. There were reports of the odour of the product in and around the facility. SWSI Hazardous Materials Specialists were required to investigate the presence of formaldehyde in the storage area of the facility.
A team of hazmat specialists atmospheric sampling with on-site analytical equipment to determine the location and concentrations of the substance throughout the facility. This process was hampered by extensive amounts of research equipment and materials stacked floor to ceiling, most with no markings. As a result, every item in the facility had to be individually identified, inspected and segregated. Contaminated and leaking materials were repackaged and inventoried for disposal. In the course of this piece of work, the team discovered a mercury spill and radioactive contamination. Both of these discoveries significantly altered the project scope and on-site protocols, however, project timelines were maintained.