Disposing of Household Hazardous Materials

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Hazardous materials are not only detrimental to people and their health, but they are also unsafe for the environment. These wastes can bring illness or death to people, plants and animals. Hence, they need to be separated and not be placed into the community’s regular trash.

Learning the right process for disposing of hazardous waste or other materials every day can be complex. Let the experts at Waste Management manage it quickly, securely, and professionally.

Various common household products contain hazardous chemicals. When released in nature, these chemicals are free to infect our body, home and of course the environment.

Once you’ve cleansed your home of these toxic products, you can replace them with some healthier and greener cleaning alternatives and safely dispose of your household hazardous materials.

As a matter of fact there are plenty of products we use regularly at home which are considered hazardous. Do not attempt to pour or flush household hazardous materials elements down the drain where they will go into the sewage system. Some of these chemicals can destroy plumbing and become the reason of failure in septic systems before they create their way to our streams and oceans.

It is very important to know what household hazardous materials are. Here is a partial list: acetone, wasp and ant spray, antifreeze, barbecue starters, car waxes, and polishes, hair coloring, aerosol hair spray, glues, lye, paint thinners, nail polish remover, rechargeable batteries, shoe polish, spa and pool chemicals, weed killers and windshield washer solution.

There are also cleaning agents which belong to household hazardous materials, and they are the following: abrasive cleaners, aerosol air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, bleach, ammonia, disinfectants, drain cleaners, laundry stain removers, fabric softeners, glass cleaners, laundry starch, mildew removers, rug and upholstery cleaners, oven cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, and toilet cleaners.

Read below some tips to help lessen the amount of household hazardous materials generated in your household:

  • Make it a habit to read labels. When buying stuff, read and follow directions sensibly.
  • You have to think small. Use the right amount of product for your needs. For instance, with pesticides only take the minimum account. It is an incorrect notion that using twice as much is twice as effective, however, it is absolutely twice as toxic.
  • Go for non-toxic alternatives. Buy the least toxic product available on the market. Danger, Caution, Warning, Harmful, Poison, Toxic, Corrosive, Volatile, Flammable, Inflammable, Combustible or Explosive — take note of these words should alert you to the hazardous nature of the product. Choose water-based products over solvent-based ones. Stop the use of aerosols if possible. Products with chlorinated compounds, petroleum distillates, phenols, and formaldehyde should be avoided.
  • Ensure proper storage. Always store products in their original containers with labels. Store unsafe products away from small children and pets.
  • Do not mix products. Some household products, when mixed, can create hazardous fumes or might become explosive. Do not mix anything with products having chlorine or ammonia.
  • You should plan ahead. To minimize waste, only purchase what you need. Never buy a gallon if you just need a cup. Consider how you are going to dispose of whichever material you have left over. Offer leftover products to a responsible neighbor or associate who can benefit from it rather than throwing it straightway.

Now, we have made it clear there are plenty of products we use regularly at home which are considered hazardous. However, it’s not much of a worry as they can be readily recognized by definite signals words such as Caution, Warning, Danger, or else Poisonous on the labels. Pay attention to these signs which can always be found on their labels. We just need to be responsible for disposing of them properly to protect our health and the environment.