Reading a Pesticide Label Chemicals are a way of life in most American homes. A typical home may contain 100 to 200 products used for cleaning, painting, lubricating, disinfecting, etc. the house, yard, workshop, and garage. When used according to label directions, most household products pose little hazard to people or the environment. However, these products may become hazardous when used, stored, or disposed of carelessly. Improper use may cause toxic health effects. Improper storage may harm people or the environment. Some chemicals when released into the environment cause water, soil or air pollution and may be toxic to people or animals. Improper disposal allows these materials to enter the environment directly. Water may be polluted or wildlife killed, or chemicals may accumulate in the food chain of people or wildlife.
The products listed in this guide typically contain
hazardous materials. Hazardous materials may be toxic, ignitable, corrosive, or reactive (may explode during routine handling), alone or in combination with other materials. A few precautions can prevent unused household products or containers from becoming hazardous wastes. Think carefully before buying a product. Do you really need it? Do you already have something similar? Buy just enough product to do the job.
Look for a non-hazardous or less hazardous substitute for each job. Read the label and follow use, storage, and disposal directions carefully. (Watch for signal words such as caution, warning or danger. Keep these products out of reach of children and animals!) Keep leftover product in original labeled container. Share unused materials with others if product is in original container with a label. Locate firms for recycling oil, antifreeze, batteries. Locate a community hazardous waste collection or help organize one.
Drain all containers thoroughly before disposal.
Triple rinse all containers of water soluble materials.
Use rinse water according to label. Do not dump leftover products. It may be illegal and it contaminates the soil, water, and air.
Do not burn used or leftover products. Burning may
produce toxic fumes. Do not bury leftover products. Do not reuse pesticide or other chemical containers for other purposes.Do not mix chemical products or wastes. Do not put products in other than original container. Do not put any liquids in the trash. Do not put toxic materials such as pesticides in the trash or sewer. Do not put products containing heavy metals (mercury, lead, nickel, chromium, cadmium, etc.) such as re-chargeable or mercury batteries in the trash.
Do not permit wastes to enter unlicensed or
unregulated landfill, recycles, incinerator, hauler, etc.
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