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HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY

 

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY

 

Use caution when handling or using hazardous materials. Home hazardous materials use can be very dangerous, especially when mixed intentionally or unintentionally. A few simple practices can help reduce your risk.

 

WHAT NOT TO MIX

 

Mixing hazardous materials can create explosions and noxious gasses, both of which could cause injuries or death. Therefore, homeowners should know which cleaning supplies and other chemicals to be careful of mixing. Check the product ingredient labels prior to use.

 

DO NOT MIX the following:

  • Bleach and acidic toilet bowl cleaners - creates poisonous gas
  • Bleach and vinegar - creates a toxic vapors
  • Bleach mixed with ammonia - creates dangerous vapors
  • Mixing acids with bases - creates a violent reaction which can cause chemical burns

 

Some common cleaning products that have an acidic pH are:

 

  • Hard water/mineral deposit removers
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Rust stain removers
  • Tub and tile cleaners
  • Mold removers

 

Some common cleaning products that have a basic pH include:

 

  • Oven cleaner
  • All purpose cleaners
  • Laundry detergents
  • Mixing different brands of the same type of product can produce hazardous reactions

 

Visit    for useful safety tips.

 

POTENTIALLY HARMFUL HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS

Some household products may be harmful even without mixing. Here are some considerations when using potentially harmful chemicals:

 

Bleach is a caustic substance. It may cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritations, especially if used in an unventilated area. Dilute bleach and use in a well-ventilated area. Airway protection, eye protection, and gloves reduce the risks when cleaning with bleach.

 

Some toilet bowl cleaners may cause skin and eye irritation, kidney and liver damage, and respiratory problems. Use in a well-ventilated area. Airway protection, eye protection, and gloves reduce the risks when using these products.

 

When using air fresheners look for “methoxychlor,” “formaldehyde” and “phenol” in the chemical list. All of these chemicals can be dangerous to your health, affecting the nervous system, possibly causing cancer, and irritating skin. Avoid spraying high concentrations in poorly ventilated rooms.

 

Chlorine can be harmful if swallowed in large amounts. Some dishwashing detergents contain chlorine.

 

Ammonia may be dangerous to eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. Airway protection, eye protection, and gloves reduce the risks when using ammonia and products containing ammonia.

 

Many oven cleaners contain lye and ammonia, and you should always wear gloves and airway protection when working with oven cleaners. These cleaners are highly corrosive and can damage skin if unprotected.

 

Furniture polish may contain nitrobenzene, a highly toxic chemical that can be absorbed through the skin. Wear gloves when working with polishes.

 

Properly labeled household chemicals offer cleaning procedures and warnings. Always follow the safety recommendations for each product. When in doubt, wear gloves, eye protection, airway protection, and never mix cleaning products.

 

HOW DO I IDENTIFY HAZARDOUS MATERIALS?

 

US Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling and Placarding Guide:

 

www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/
Hazardous_Materials_Markings_Labeling_and_Placarding_Guide.pdf

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I ENCOUNTER SPILLED OR ILLEGALLY DISCARDED HAZARDOUS MATERIALS?

 

If you suspect hazardous materials are spilled or illegally discarded call “911” right away to report the nature and location of the incident.

 

Stay upstream, uphill, and upwind! In general, try to go at least one-half mile (usually 8-10 city blocks) from the area. Move away from the area and help keep others away.

 

DO NOT walk into or touch any spilled liquids, airborne mists, or condensed solid hazardous materials deposits. Try not to inhale gases, fumes and smoke. If possible, cover mouth with a cloth while leaving the area.

 

DO NOT attempt to help victims. You may become a victim if you are exposed to the hazard. Calling “911” first ensures properly equipped emergency workers safely assist victims in a timely manner.

 

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY LINKS:

 

Ready.gov

 

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/chemical-safety/

 

Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

http://www.csb.gov/

 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

 

US Department of Health and Human Services

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/

 

The Right To Know Network

http://www.rtknet.org/

 

HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SAFETY LINKS FOR KIDS:

 

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

http://www.epa.gov/kidshometour/

 

Ready.gov for Kids

http://www.ready.gov/kids

 

KidsHealth

http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/safety_poisoning.html

 

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