It's Poison Prevention Week…What's in Your Cabinet?

Overall, U.S. Poison Control centers receive calls every 13 seconds. Photo: Flickr/Unhindered by Talent

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.

Read More:
An Adventure with Household Cleaners
How to Store Hazardous Products
Scientists Test Pesticides Made From Scorpion Venom

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Trey Granger
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  1. Don’t forget: free, confidential poison help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. All calls are answered by health-care professionals. A good number to have handy just in case you or someone you love has an exposure to any poisoning, whether it is cleaning chemicals, pesticides, medications, etc.

  2. I would like to find out why the Pharmacy and Hospitals say to grind up your medications and put them in the garbage and the Waste People have a better way of getting rid of it?

  3. Does anyone have a green option to repel silverfish? They eat clothes and paper. Also earwigs are another pain. I cannot use insecticides and certainly wouldn’t do it around my clothes, but I need something to prevent them from taking over my closet.

  4. If the government is going to ban incandescent bulbs in the next couple of years, what will they suggest we use for replacement. CFL’s are extremely dangerous in case they do break…they can actually create a hazardous waste spill. Transporting the CFL to a local store to dispose of is also dangerous for the same reason. Another problem with CFL’s are they do not work with dimmer lamps or switches (the box even tells you that) or with switches that are constantly turned on and off. One of them I had only lasted about 4 months because it was in my hallway which was subjected to constant turning on and off and I was later told that they don’t function well in that environment. Also, the health issue of light which replicates natural light or has effects of artificial light.

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