Strict health and safety regulations in the mining industry mean that any liquid spills in workshop areas or elsewhere need to be cleaned quickly and effectively.
To cater for such spills, South African manufacturer Pratley created the Gunge Spunge powder, which is “ideal” for spills, including petrol, diesel, oil, sewage and other nuisance liquids, says Pratley marketing manager Eldon Kruger.
Sawdust and other flammable materials were traditionally used to clean up highly combustible hydrocarbons, but these are considered ineffective and potentially hazardous and, as a result, mines and municipal by-laws prohibit their use.
Kruger explains that the Gunge Spunge powder is ideal because it is effective, nonflammable and environment-friendly. “It has also been accepted as the preferred spill cleanup material at certain mines and in industries.”
Further, Section 8.2.4 of the Mandatory Code of Practice for the Prevention of Fires at Mines, which is a guideline prescribed in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, calls for mines to have an absorbent spillage cleanup material on site.
Health and safety personnel on mines and in the industry have updated their codes of practice to mention the use of the powder as the preferred incombustible spill cleanup material, he notes.
“The Gunge Spunge powder is simple to use. Scatter a thin layer of the absorbent powder onto the spill and wait a few seconds. The powder will immediately start absorbing the spilt material.”
Gunge Spunge powder can also be used to contain oil spills in water by scattering it onto the oil spill.
Kruger points out that the Gunge Spunge powder is processed from clinoptilolite zeolite – a mineral that is naturally occurring and non-toxic. Zeolite’s unique porous structure ensures its absorbent quality.
The powder also has cation-absorption properties, enabling it to absorb, rather than mask, odours.
The Gunge Spunge is supplied in 12 kg bags, but special arrangements can be made to supply it in larger quantities, he concludes.