Household chemicals serve an important purpose, whether it’s cleaning the house, working on your car or killing pests around the yard.
But these products can also be toxic to humans, and this week’s Poison Prevention Week encourages homeowners to keep these products in a safe place when not in use to prevent exposure.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Children Act Fast…So Do Poisons,” emphasizing that more than half of the two million poison exposure incidents reported annually involve children under the age of six.
This week is a perfect time to go through your hazardous products to make sure they are safe from children and pets. While these products may not seem appealing, products like antifreeze have a sweet taste that masks the toxicity.
“Proper and safe storage, use and supervision of all household products can substantially reduce exposures in the home,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “Poison Prevention Week serves as a reminder for everyone to keep pesticides away from children, and to read and follow all labels to minimize the potential dangers from pesticides.”
You might also find while storing these products safely that some are no longer needed. Luckily, many household hazardous waste facilities begin accepting material in the spring.
April is also one of the more common months for household hazardous waste events because of Earth Day. Proper disposal of toxic products is important so they don’t pollute soil or groundwater.
Another option to consider is that many products around the home have non-toxic alternatives, or you can even make your own using organic ingredients.