Look around your home and you may discover as much as 100 pounds of household chemicals stored in your basement, garage, kitchen, bathroom and garden shed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average home can easily accumulate this amount of cleaners, pesticides, paints, automotive fluids, and other products containing hazardous components. While such products are safe to use if proper precautions are taken, problems generally arise when you use, store or dispose of products improperly.
Pennsylvania Resources Council offers a series of online brochures, including SAFE & HEALTHY HOME.
Tips for home buyers and home sellers include:
- DO NOT LEAVE TOXIC CHEMICALS BEHIND – Do not leave any hazardous waste behind when you move. To find safe disposal options, call the PA DEP Recycling Hotline at 800-346-4242 or visit PRC.org. If you live in Southwest PA, review PRC’s schedule of Household Chemical Collection Events.
- IDENTIFY PRODUCTS IN ADVANCE – Identify materials that are hazardous and make plans to properly dispose of them – a don’t wait until the last minute.
- SEPARATE & SHARE MATERIALS – Set aside products you’ll take to your new home and properly label containers. Share leftovers by asking the new homeowner – or friends/neighbors – if they can use any of the remaining products.
- KEEP CHEMICALS IN A SAFE PLACE – Store all chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
- USE NONTOXIC ALTERNATIVES – Purchase nontoxic alternative products or make your own at home from materials such as baking soda and vinegar.
CLICK HERE to view the Safe & Healthy Home brochure.
CLICK HERE to view PRC’s booklet Hazardous Waste in the Home: Safe & Healthy Guide and learn more about the impact of household chemicals on the environment and human health.