Why are absorbents in different colors?

In general, there are only two kinds of absorbents: universal and oil only. Color-coded absorbents are usually found in absorbent kits, as designating absorbents with a specific color can help people be aware of which kits to use for a particular hazard. There is no legislation or standard that specifies which color should be used for an absorbent of a particular hazard, but in general, most absorbent brands use the following color coding:

  • Gray and Blue - universal
  • White - Oil only
  • Pink - Chemicals or haz-mat

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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