Creating an Eco-Friendly Home can be confusing but start by looking at the chemicals that you use and store in your home. We use a variety of chemicals in our homes that may be toxic. Always read the label first! This is an easy way to understand what products you are handling and the safety guidelines. A wide range of products that we use in our homes and everyday lives contain chemicals that fit the definition of hazardous or toxic. Hazardous products line our kitchen, bath, utility and garage shelves. Proper management of household hazardous waste is important for protecting our land, air and water, as well as our personal health. Household products that contain hazardous components require special awareness, handling, and disposal. Hazardous waste is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Hazardous wastes can be liquids, solids, or gases.
Minimize your exposure to hazardous chemicals by proper handling and storage. Check to make sure containers are properly sealed and labeled. Do not mix different chemicals together and use the safety equipment recommended on the label, such as plastic gloves. Store materials in a secure place out of the reach of children and buy only what is absolutely necessary. Look for alternatives to hazardous chemicals, such as vinegar, which works well for many cleaning tasks. Always select the least hazardous product for your task. There are four different words that should appear on the label of products. These words describe the danger level of the chemical. Caution is the lowest warning while Warning is higher on the scale. Danger indicates that the highest precautions should be taken. Poison will be on highly toxic chemicals that are extremely dangerous to people.
Proper disposal of hazardous household waste is important so that we are not exposed to harmful chemicals and they are not introduced into the environment. Check out the easy ways to dispose of your hazardous household waste through Pinellas County Utilities. http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/swapshop.htm