Tons of hazardous waste produced
Worldwide, this year
Household Hazardous Waste is any product that you use at home regularly for cleaning, which contains chemicals that are harmful to human health and our environment.
All the products that we have in our homes seem pretty harmless, and they do keep our homes clean. It will come as a surprise to many, that your innocent looking detergent, bleach, furniture polisher, medicine, cosmetics, batteries, air freshener and paint are some examples of hazardous products.
Most of these hazardous wastes are not disposed of properly. Most people are not even aware that they are hazardous. So they either pour them down the drain or throw them away with regular household waste and they are collected and deposited in community landfills.
Products are deemed hazardous when they have chemicals that are explosive, reactive, flammable, toxic or corrosive.
You often find warnings in their labels like Danger, Warning, Caution or Poison. These products are safe when used according to directions, but when mishandled, they can pose a serious threat to your health.
When you pour them down the drains, bury them in your yard or burn them, they pollute our waters and when burned, they release harmful chemicals in the air adding to air pollution.
When these products are ingested, they can poison you and cause death. This happens more often to children who innocently play with them. They have fumes and vapors that can irritate the lungs and the chemicals that make them flammable can cause them to explode and cause fires. They can scorch your skin, cause blindness and make you sick with diarrhea, vomiting and others.
As you probably realize by now, almost everything in your home that is made by man is on the list of hazardous waste products. They are everywhere. There are 2 things that you can do to help minimize the threat of hazardous waste to humans and to our environment.
You are empowered as a consumer, to choose products that are less hazardous to our health and environment.
Who would ever think that we are harboring dangerous products in our home?
We cannot avoid using them as they part of our everyday lives and we’ve become used to them. But we can look for alternatives that are not as harmful.
Just think of it like a diet. When you’re on a diet, you look for less fat, less cholesterol and you can find products like that. All we need is to be more mindful of the way we use these conveniences in our daily lives. Now that you are aware of the household hazardous waste statistics, it is our hope that you join our efforts to reduce hazardous waste through the simple practices we mentioned above.
Let’s keep our home and environment safer for everyone.