Skip to main content

Basics and Safety With Calcium Hydride

At Enviro Care, we’re dedicated completely to safety and careful procedures during our chemical waste disposal and hazardous waste transportation services. We have all the proper permits and licensing to handle these issues for you, with experienced and professional waste managers.

One chemical waste area that we regularly perform services in involves a release of calcium hydride. This chemical, which can affect humans through breathing, has to be removed professionally and with the proper transportation practices in place. Let’s go over some of the effects calcium hydride can have if left unattended, plus a basic example of a recent job we did (names removed for confidentiality) that will help illustrate our safety precautions.

Effects of Calcium Hydride

Calcium hydride is a chemical known for the harmful effects it has on humans, both in the short and long term. In an immediate sense, breathing in calcium hydride can lead to burning of the skin and eyes, eye damage, nose or throat irritation, and lung issues ranging from shortness of breath all the way to a pulmonary edema (a major medical emergency).

In the long run, the effects of regular calcium hydride exposure are even more significant. It can lead to issues with reproduction and the lungs, and may be related to some forms of cancer. Perhaps most concerningly, it’s extremely flammable and can react with other chemicals easily, making it an explosion hazard when it’s released.

Safety Example

The following describes a basic recent process that we followed when assisting with a calcium hydride release:

  • Our ER manager took the call from our 24-hour answering service, then took down all relevant information.
  • The ER manager dispatched the 24-hour response team, which met at our shop to pre-load equipment and supplies and get an ETA to the location of the release.
  • Once arriving on site, our crew members took control of the incident. We walked around the area and discussed the hazards. A JSA was then signed.
  • Photos of the area are taken while crew members got dressed. Other crew members offloaded tools and supplies, and set up anything that required it.
  • After properly dressing down safely, crew members placed absorbent pads into the release area, then vacuumed up calcium dust in the area. Once this was done, the bag from the HEPA vac was placed into the 201H2. We then sprayed the area down using a Hudson sprayer and a basic green solution, then absorbent was applied after reactions were finished before being placed into the 201H2.
  • The crew packed up all supplies and tools and returned them to the van.
  • The crew departs the location and informs the ER manager that the project is complete, before returning to the shop to offload the waste and complete paperwork.

For more on calcium hydride safety, or to learn about any of our emergency hazmat response services, speak to the pros at Enviro Care today.