Hazardous chemicals list

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List of Hazardous chemicals at Free Geek and corresponding Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS)

Fork Lift Battery

Our fork lift is a CLark T15 electric forklift with a wet lead-acid battery provided by Enersys.

Lead-Acid Battery

CRT Glass

Even though all staff and volunteers are trained in the safe handling, moving and packaging of CRT monitors, a spill might occur. Also, from time to time, Free Geek may receive CRTs with broken panel or funnel glass and all paidworkers need to be trained in how to properly handle them. Donors should be discourage from leaving already broken CRT glass at Free Geek. They should be directed to a facility better equipped then Free Geek to handle these items (Volunteers may come in contact with leaded glass). Total Reclaim is an approved vendor of Free Geek, and donors can be sent there directly. If the donor insists, a trained Free Geek staff member will take on the handling and processing of the broken CRT glass while wearing proper PPE. CRTs and most other electronic items are not required to have a material safety data sheet (MSDS) because they are "articles" as defined by EPA. They DO have different amounts of lead in the glass and funnel, as well as other chemicals, all of which can be hazardous when touched, or ingested.

Read this before handling a broken CRT

It is important to take proper precautions when cleaning up glass from broken monitors and television sets and when preparing them for shipping. The primary hazard is broken glass. There are no toxic chemicals or gases released when a monitor is dropped or broken. However, they contain solid lead in the glass and shielding components. Therefore, particular attention must be given to their proper packaging and disposal.

How to Clean Up a Broken CRT:

  • Wear personal protective attire:safety glasses, puncture resistant gloves (e.g. leather or other heavy duty work gloves), long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Use a sturdy box with a plastic liner (contractor bag) to contain all parts of the broken unit.
  • Position the CRT so broken glass or other components will not spill out. Stabilize with styrofoam or other packing material.
  • Sweep up all broken glass and place in double plastic bags inside box with the rest of the CRT or a small cardboard box that has been taped to prevent leakage.
  • After placing all parts of the monitor or television into the box, close securely and seal with tape on bottom and corners to ensure all broken glass is securely contained. (If possible, use double plastic bags to hold all broken glass before placing in box.)
  • Label the box : "Broken CRT- Leaded Glass".

Fluorescent Light Bulbs/CFLs

We use them, they sneak in through Receiving, and sometimes they break. If one breaks, follow these instructions:

Fluorescent Light Bulbs


Lots of batteries at Free Geek coming from computers, stereos, and who knows what else. They also come in little baggies through Receiving at the bottom of boxes. They are fine if they are not leaking, but they might be corroded, or otherwise compromised. When you see a compromised battery, try to identify what type it is and read the corresponding MSDS.

Heavy Duty
Lithium Ion
Lithium Manganese Dioxide/Buttoncells
Lithium Polymer
Silver Oxide/Buttoncells
Zinc Air/Buttoncells

Mercury bearing Thermostats and Thermometers

Older style thermostats and thermometers are being smuggled in through Receiving in the bottom of boxes. They need to be handled carefully, so as to not break the little glass vial containing the mercury. They will need to get disposed off as hazardous waste at Metro. No broken Mercury items should be accepted!!!