Follow the 4 Cs if Your Chemo Leaks or Spills

Time to Read: About 1 minute

This information is a quick guide for what to do if your chemotherapy medicine leaks or spills.

Step 1: Clamp

  • Put on 2 pairs of disposable gloves.
  • Put on a disposable face mask.
  • Clamp the tubing.
  • If you have a pump, turn it off.

Step 2: Contain

  • Put the chemo container and tubing in a plastic bag that seals.
  • Soak up the spill with paper towels. Place them in the plastic bag with the chemo container and tubing.
  • Put clothes, bed sheets, and towels that have chemo on them in another plastic bag that seals. If you cannot wash them right away, seal the bag.

Step 3: Clean

  1. Clean up the spill.
    • Wash the area with dish soap or laundry detergent and water.
    • Put dirty paper towels and cleaning supplies in the plastic bag with the chemo.
  2. If the chemo got or gets on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.
  3. Wash your clothing, bed sheets, and towels in hot water. Do not wash them with any other items.
  4. Take off your gloves. Put them in the bag with the chemo. Seal the bag tightly and place it in another bag that seals tightly. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Take off your facemask. Throw it away with your regular trash.
  6. Bring the sealed bag to your next appointment. Do not throw it away with your regular trash.

Step 4: Call

Call your doctor’s office right away for more instructions.

If you’re not sure what number to call, call 212-639-2000.

Spill kit

Make a spill kit that has the supplies below. Keep the kit where you can easily reach it.


  • 2 pairs of disposable gloves.
  • 1 disposable facemask.
  • Paper towels or an absorbent towel that can be thrown away.
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent.
  • 3 plastic bags that seal (1 gallon size or larger).

Last Updated

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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