Household Waste Management Routes of Exposure Toxins can be ingested by eating or drinking hazardous substances or contaminated food and water.
Toxins can be inhaled in the form of gases, vapors, and sprays.
Toxins can be absorbed through skin contact with
hazardous substances. Hazardous products containing corrosives or irritants will injure the skin and then be slowly absorbed into the body tissues and bloodstream. Some hazardous chemicals can be absorbed through skin contact without damaging the skin.
Before you buy a product...
Avoid aerosol products. Aerosol disperses the
substance in tiny droplets than can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition, aerosol cans may become explosive bombs when heated.
Once it's in your home, use it safely...
Read all labels carefully before using hazardous
products. Be aware of their uses and dangers.
Use the proper safety equipment when working with
Leave products in their original container with the
label that clearly identifies the contents. Never put
hazardous products in food or beverage containers.
Do not mix products unless directed to do so by
label directions. This can cause explosive or poisonous chemical reactions. Even different brands of the same product can contain incompatible ingredients.
Use only what is needed for a job. Twice as much
doesn't mean twice the results. Follow label directions.
Guidelines For Safe Disposal
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS GUIDE IS INTENDED FOR USE BY HOUSEHOLDS ONLY. ANY BUSINESS WHICH USES THIS DISPOSAL INFORMATION MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW.
To avoid unintentional pollution of our health and
environment, hazardous wastes from homes must be disposed of properly. Recommendations for proper disposal will depend upon both the particular type of waste and the waste disposal options available in your community. Local ordinances pertaining to disposal may vary. For example,
landfill owners have the right to decide what they will
and will not accept for disposal. As a general rule,
liquids containing hazardous substances (paint for
example) are discouraged in landfills as they create
hazardous leachate which may contaminate the groundwater. If in doubt, check with your local officials for what is appropriate in your community.
Use It Up:
When products are fully used up as intended there is no hazardous waste to dispose of. If you only need a small amount of paint, pesticide, or other hazardous product, check with friends, relatives, or neighbors to see if they have any excess they are trying to use up. Be a wise consumer. Buy only the amount you need and look for safer alternatives whenever possible.
Throw It In The Trash:
When it is recommended that a waste be thrown into
the trash, it means the final destination is the landfill. No other dumping, burning, or burying of hazardous waste is safe or legal. Trash disposal of hazardous materials which are flammable, explosive/reactive, corrosive/ caustic, radioactive, or toxic can cause health risks to waste handlers and an environmental hazard if toxicants leach from the landfill into the groundwater. Be very careful about what you throw away and if you have any doubts, make sure that your waste handler knows the
substance is in there and be certain it is securely
Objects that can puncture skin, such as hypodermic
needles, broken glass, and metal shards, are known as a "sharps." Sharps should be placed in a rigid, puncture- resistant container. Seal the container with heavy tape and place in the trash. Large breakable items, such as fluorescent light bulbs, should be placed alongside your trash container. These actions will help trash haulers avoid injury.
Hazardous wastes which are acceptable at some landfills:
Empty Aerosol Cans
Crystallized Oven Cleaner
Autobody Repair Products
Fertilizer without pesticides Empty, triple-rinsed
If solidified, these products may also be acceptable:
Adhesives and Epoxies
Solvent-Based Cleaners Thinners
Flush It Down The Drain With Plenty Of Water:
Some household hazardous wastes can be flushed down the drain (the toilet is recommended) with plenty of water. This recommendation is given when the hazardous waste is neutralized by water or when the municipal or sanitary sewage system is able to remove the toxins or render them harmless. If you use a septic system or lagoon, it is
preferable to give hazardous waste acceptable for flushing to a friend who is on a sanitary sewage treatment system. Heavy concentrations of certain chemicals in a septic tank can slow down or destroy the microorganisms which make the system work properly.
When flushing hazardous waste down the drain, please take the following precautions:
1. If you have any doubts, call your local wastewater
2. Never pour any chemicals down a basement drain or storm sewer; these lead directly into the waterways.
3. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the area where you are flushing the waste.
4. Avoid disposal of chemical wastes in food preparation areas.
5. Never mix chemicals together either while pour or when they are in the stool or sink. Wait at least two to three hours between flushing ammonia and flushing bleach.
6. Wear gloves and goggles when disposing of wastes to avoid eye and skin contact. Pour slowly and carefully to avoid splashing.
7. Flush wastes during the working day so that waste will be carried quickly through the system and will not be left in the sewer system overnight.
8. Flush wastes using a large volume of water.
9. Rinse the empty container with water before placing in the trash.
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