Home Chemical SafetyChemicals are prevalent in our society and our community. All we have to do is look around our factories, businesses, offices and homes. We rely upon chemicals to keep our food fresh, our bodies clean, and our drinking water safe. If used properly, chemicals enhance our quality of life. If used improperly, they can cause serious injury and even death.
There are three ways that you can be exposed to chemicals. They are:
Breathing the chemical.
Swallowing contaminated food, water or medication.
Touching the chemical, or coming into contact with clothing or other items which have been touched by chemicals.
Chemicals are not always easily identifiable. At times you may not even see or smell them until its too late. Other chemicals, on the other hand, have highly distinguishable smells and characteristics.
Most chemical accidents, though small in nature, occur in the home. Therefore, it is important that you follow directions and take the proper precautions. For example, many solvent-based products should only be used in a well-ventilated area. In addition, avoid mixing common household chemical products. Some combinations of these products, such as ammonia and bleach, can create toxic gasses. Finally, store chemical products properly.
Many households have household products that are no longer used. Many of these products have been barely used and sit on shelves for years. There are three "R's" to recycling and they apply here: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Try buying only enough of the product that you need right away. If you have left over product, try giving the rest to someone who can use it.