Safe Use of Household Hazardous Materials
We ask that the residents practice wise and safe use of household hazardous materials. Dumping hazardous
products in the trash or down the drain can cause serious air, water and ground pollution. Follow the tips on our web site for every day safe use of household chemicals.
What You Should and Should Not Do
Watching Your Waste...
Choose Safer Alternatives
Thousands of household products sold each year contain toxic ingredients. Examples include drain cleaners,
oven cleaners, pesticides, and furniture polish. Used and disposed of properly, these products add to the convenience and comfort of our lives. However, if used improperly, these products can endanger our health and the
air quality in our homes. Disposed of improperly, products containing toxic ingredients can contaminate our land and pollute our water supplies.
Many people think only of hazardous waste as that waste produced in plants and factories. But every home has a supply of potentially hazardous waste. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a substance as hazardous if it is flammable, can react or explode when mixed with other substances, is corrosive, or is toxic. A number of products in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, utility sheds, and workshops contain caustic chemicals and solvents that can threaten family health and/or damage the environment. The challenge for today's consumer is to reduce the number of hazardous products in the home. What can you do to meet this challenge?
Use Multipurpose Cleaners
Instead of purchasing a different product to clean each surface in your home, consider one or
two products that will clean a variety of surfaces. Selecting and using multipurpose cleaners can reduce the number of cleaners you buy, decrease the number of hazardous products in your home, and save you money. Read and follow label directions.
Buy The Least Harmful Product Available
Many household products used for household cleaning, car care, or yard care can be toxic, corrosive, flammable, or reactive. All of these designations are considered hazardous. Any product considered hazardous must be labeled with signal words regulated by the federal government. The
front label of the product must include a warning and a description of the hazard. Signal words are:
"Danger/Poison," "Warning," and "Caution." "Caution" indicates the lowest level of toxicity and "Danger" the highest level of
In addition to signal words, the product label must also include a statement telling you how to avoid the hazard and how to use the product safely. To reduce the danger of hazardous products in your home, buy cleaners labeled "warning" or
"caution" and pesticides with "caution" on the label. These products are less harmful.
When reading labels, do not be fooled by the words "nontoxic." This is an advertising term. It has no regulatory definition by the federal government so it can be used as the manufacturer wishes.
It is very important that you know, as much as possible about products before you use them, so that you can protect yourself and your family. If a product label does not give a list of ingredients or adequate instructions for its safe use... choose another product.
Choose Safer Alternatives
You dont have to use harmful chemicals to clean your house or maintain your yard. Whenever possible substitute a safer alternative for a hazardous product. Maintain a safe healthy home by using chemical-free recipes below to create non-toxic alternatives to use around the house, outside, and in the car. Compared to most commercial products, earth-friendly cleaners produce fewer pollutants when being manufactured; are less likely to cause injury if accidentally ingested; dont cause indoor air pollution in your home, reduce waste from commercial packaging, are better for the environment during and after use.
All-Purpose Cleaner Mix together 1 gallon hot water, Ό cup ammonia, Ό cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon baking soda.
Drain Cleaner Mix 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt and Ό cup of cream of tarter, pour this into drain, followed by a pot of boiling water, then flush with cold water. Do this weekly.
Oven Cleaner Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup warm water. Rub gently with steel wool. A dish of ammonia left in the oven overnight will soften burnt spills.
Window Cleaner Mix ½ cup ammonia, 1/8 cup vinegar and 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle.
Tub & Tile Cleaner Use Borax and water.
Ink Stains Soak in milk or blot with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.
Grease Pour boiling water on stains and cover with dry baking soda.
Heavy Soils Rub with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 cup warm water.
Blood Soak in cold water or remove with hydrogen peroxide.
Rust Saturate with sour milk or lemon juice. Rub with salt, and then place in direct sunlight to dry and wash.
Use Preventative Measures
The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is
true for cleaning and polishing. If soil is allowed to accumulate, the task of removing it becomes more difficult. Wiping spills when they occur can prevent stains and eliminate the need for tough specialty cleaners, which often
are more toxic and more harmful to surfaces. For example, harsh abrasive cleaners gradually scratch the finishes of sinks, bathtubs, and other porcelain enamel surfaces, and chlorine bleach can dull such finishes. Once the surface
becomes scratched, it will get dirty faster and stain deeper and become almost impossible to clean and keep clean.
Wipe away grease and spills in the oven after each use, or put a liner on the oven bottom to catch spills and reduce the need for an oven cleaner. Cover sink and shower drains with a screen to keep out food scraps and hair. Do not pour grease down the drain. Collect it in an empty can
and put it in the trash. These actions will reduce the need for a drain cleaner.
Open windows to air out the house occasionally to avoid the use of chemical air fresheners.
Have an aggressive home maintenance plan. This will reduce the need for some hazardous products. For example, roaches and other insects are discouraged by good housekeeping practices. Bathe pets frequently to eliminate fleas.
Common Home Hazards
Ammonia based cleaners, bleach-based cleaners, disinfectants, oven cleaners, window cleaners, drain cleaners, aerosol sprays, polishes, household batteries, nail polish & remover, medications &
syringes, shoe polish, moth balls, ammunition, gun cleaning solvents, lighter fluid and artists' paints
Pesticides, bug sprays, fungicides, weed killers and pool chemicals
All paints, paint thinners, paint strippers, wood preservatives, varnishes, glues & adhesives, photo chemicals, solvents, antifreeze, automatic transmission fluid, battery acid, brake fluid, oil
& oil filters, engine cleaners, gasoline & diesel fuel and windshield washer solutions.
Propane Gas Cylinders
Liquefied petroleum gas cylinders such as propane tanks that hold between
4 and 40 pounds (approximately 1 gal to 10 gal) can be recycled by taking them to dealers who sell propane in the area. Smaller cylinders holding
less than 4 pounds that are empty can be placed in your regular garbage can with other household trash. A list of dealers who sell and service refillable containers can be found on the
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Commission
website. Do a search for class VI permit holders in Baton Rouge. For more information on disposal call 925-4895.
For more information concerning the proper disposal of household hazardous waste materials,
contact the Environmental's Recycling Office at 389-5194.
You can trash empty or dried-out latex paint cans. For cans less
than 1/2 full of paint, open lid, mix with an absorbent (kitty litter) and let paint dry. Save cans more than 1/2 full for the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. To view more information on Safe Disposal of Paint.
Habitat for Humanity accepts unopened cans of paint visit the:
4301 Airline Highway