At Harmony Environmental Services, during the normal course of an Automobile or forklift accident.  Our business Cleans up, batteries, large batteries, lead-acid and nickel-cadmium. Forklift batteries are on the small side of what we work with on a daily basis. We put a great deal effort into avoiding electrolyte spills; however, electrolyte spills can occur and cleaning them up is Important. As with any spill clean up you must know what you are dealing with. In this discussion we are dealing with lead-acid battery electrolyte which is dilute sulfuric acid. Lead-Acid battery electrolyte is 38% strength or less sulfuric acid. This strength acid will not cause cloth, paper, or wood to ignite or smolder, so it is safe to use paper or cloth to soak up spilled lead-acid battery electrolyte, but there are better methods.

There is quite a variety of acid absorbing and neutralizing products on the market. Depend upon local rules, most of these products allow the absorbed and neutralized lead-acid battery electrolyte to be disposed of with the professionally accepted methods. Fumes emanating from spilled lead-acid battery electrolyte are not normally an issue.

Any company cleaning up industrial batteries should have a spill kit near the battery and an OSHA approved eye wash station. Note: The small individual bottles of eye wash solution are nice but they do not satisfy the OSHA eye wash requirement.

Stationary battery installations should have installed spill containment, a spill kit, and an OSHA approved eye wash station.  I personally do not advise others to neutralize acid with soda (or cement), if it is more than a few drops spilled, as this indeed will react violently and cause vapors – which is not pleasant for people with insufficient protection if the spill takes place inside and there is not enough ventilation.

My advise would be to absorb the acid in suitable clean up Some people who buy "cat litter" for spill purposes might end up using compressed saw dust cat litter pills, which might enlarge you problem as this might catch fire. Some cat litter is fine to absorb acid spills, some cat litter is not. Either you need to do a lab test with the stuff you intend to use (because yes, it is much cheaper) or you should rely on special stuff.

Harmony Environmental Services is woman owned, operated, and founded by a practicing Nurse
Fully licensed, Hazwoper certified, and OSHA compliant

Treating all of our clients with care and compassion
Quick Response vehicles located throughout the 4 county area
Work performed in a discreet and timely manner

San Diego’s Homegrown HazMat Contractor