General Rules for Managing Toxic Household Products


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Select the least toxic products for your home.

  • Buy only as much as you will use.
  • Read the label. It will list ingredients; instructions for use, storage and disposal; hazards associated with use.
  • Avoid aerosol spray cans whenever possible. Buy liquid, paste or powder forms of products.
  • Dispose of toxic waste as recommended. Call your County Solid Waste Authority for specific information about Amnesty Days and other disposal options.

Safety Considerations

  • Never mix chlorine bleach with any other cleaning agent, such as ammonia or vinegar. It may create toxic fumes.
  • Store all cleaning solutions out of reach of children.
  • To avoid accidental poisoning, never transfer a product to a container that once held food or drink.
  • Be sure that each container has a label.
  • Mix cleaning solutions in a well-ventilated area.
  • Clean up after using toxic substances.
  • Never smoke or eat when handling hazardous materials.
  • Keep the container closed. Harmful fumes may escape from an open container.

Preventative Measures

  • An aggressive home maintenance plan will reduce the amount of cleaning products and hazardous household products needed in the home. For example, roaches and other insects are discouraged by good housekeeping practices.
  • Wipe up spills.
  • Store food in sealed containers.
  • Bathe pets frequently to eliminate fleas.
  • Put a piece of screen over drains to catch food particles or hair.
  • Avoid baked-on stains in the oven by wiping up after each use and/or use liners to catch spills.
  • Air out the house occasionally to avoid the use of chemical air fresheners.