How To Recognize HHW Products
Household hazardous wastes exhibit at least one of the following properties:
Corrosive substances or vapors - can burn skin on contact and can eat away the surface of other materials
Oven and toilet bowl cleaners
Flammable - usually liquids that easily ignite and burn
Lighter fluid, spot and paint removers
Reactive - reacts with air, water, or another substance to produce toxic vapors or explode
Bleach when mixed with ammonia-based cleaners
Toxic - even in small quantities may immediately poison, or cause injury or even death through repeated exposure, when inhaled into the lungs, eaten, swallowed or absorbed through the skin
Rat poison, pesticides, or bleach
Check the label for the following warning words:
Danger - the product is highly flammable, explosive, and/or reactive, or is a capable of causing injury on contact with eyes or skin.
Poison - the product is extremely toxic (a taste to 1 tsp. is the fatal dose).
Warning - the product is moderately toxic (1 tsp. to 1 tbs. is the fatal dose), can cause skin injury with prolonged contact with skin, or has a moderate chance of catching fire or reacting with another chemical.
Caution - the product is mildly toxic (1 oz to 1 pt is the fatal dose) or a possible skin irritant.
Tips For Handling, Using, & Storing HHW
When handled, stored, and used correctly, HHW doesn't pose too many environmental problems.
Buy a non-hazardous or the least hazardous product for the job, i.e., choose a product with a "caution" label over one with a "warning" label.
Buy multi-use products instead of highly specialized items that might go unused for months.
Buy only what you need.
Buy pesticides and similar items that have a localized application, e.g. roach bait discs instead of fumigants.
Follow all safety precautions.
Keep all pertinent information regarding use, storage, and disposal.
Keep container tightly sealed and in a secure location.