When you care for yourself, your home,
your yard and your garden you use a variety of
chemical products. Many of these common household products contain
chemicals. When we no longer want these products they become
hazardous waste. Most
household products are not harmful if used according to label
directions. However, they
can become harmful if you use them improperly, store them
improperly, or dispose of
Most people dispose of hazardous chemicals by throwing them in the
trash, pouring them
down the drain, or burning them. These practices are dangerous.
Waste from hazardous
household products can contaminate lakes, rivers, streams and
groundwater. Often only
a small amount of a hazardous chemicals can cause serious problems.
It only takes one
gallon of oil to contaminate one million gallons of water.
Much of the residential trash is collected door-to-door by private
companies or is taken to
drop-off centers by individuals. Ultimately the trash is taken to a
landfill. Most landfills are
not designed for hazardous household wastes. Hazardous waste
chemicals can leak into water
supplies or cause air pollution, or both.
Hazardous household waste may cause a
fire, an explosion or give off dangerous fumes.
Sanitation workers have been seriously burned, lost their eyesight
or suffered lung
damage while compacting hazardous materials.
Safe Storage Recommendations
1. Keep hazardous chemicals high on shelves or in locked
cabinets away from children.
2. Protect the label.
3. Store hazardous household chemicals in the original container
with the original labels.
4. Make sure all containers are closed tightly.
5. Keep containers dry to prevent corrosion.
6. Store similar products together to reduce any danger from
reactions if containers
should leak or contents should spill.
7. Store hazardous household products in a well ventilated