Tips for the Handling and Storage of Daily Chemicals
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Published by TOP4 Team
Household chemicals like cleaning agents, aerosols and pesticides often contain minute quantities of ingredients. Used and stored properly, these pose little harm to people and pets.
However, due to their properties (toxic, flammable, corrosive, etc.), they can be deemed a threat to health especially if they are not stored and disposed of properly. Spillage, emergency situations like earthquakes, and young kids innocently playing with these can further compound the problem.
But how do you know which daily chemicals are potentially harmful? The best way to ascertain whether a product contains hazardous chemicals is to look at the product label. Often, you will find words like "caution," "poison," "danger" and variations thereof. Products which contain these words on their labels mean that they can be poisonous or can irritate the skin and eyes due to accidental exposure.
Whenever possible, it is better to find alternative products that do not contain hazardous chemicals.
In using these products, make sure that you read and carefully follow the instructions. For corrosive chemicals, make sure that you wear the appropriate safety gear like goggles and gloves. If you are going to use a solvent, take off your contact lenses.
If you become dizzy or develop a headache when using a household chemical, stop using it. It is also advisable to use chemicals which emit strong fumes outdoors where there is better ventilation. Make sure that you keep the containers of these chemicals away from open flames, including cigarettes.
Do not experiment with various household chemicals. Mixing these together can lead to chemical reactions which in turn can lead to toxic fumes, or worse, explosions.
In storing these chemicals, make sure that you find a safe place, out of reach of children. If you are going to store these in a storage closet, be sure that they are kept high enough and that the door of the area is closed tightly or even locked up. Be sure that the temperature in the storage area does not go up too high, especially if the product contains flammable ingredients.
Make sure to check these products regularly. Some products have a storage life of only a few months. Specifically, you want to make sure that you can't smell anything and that the product containers are in good shape.
If you need to dispose of unused chemicals, check with your local council about the guidelines. Do note that some chemicals can also pose harm to the environment and you should know the proper way to dispose of these.