What is household hazardous waste? | Cleaning | What you can do | David Suzuki Foundation
Photo: What is household hazardous waste?

Household hazardous waste (HHW) can be found anywhere in your home; in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, and storage areas like the garden shed, garage, basement, and attic.

Many common household products contain hazardous chemicals. Once released, these chemicals are free to contaminate our body, home and the environment.

Small quantities of hazardous substances can accumulate over time to reach dangerous levels and contaminate the air, water and soil. Others can have a more immediate effect, like poisoning, if discovered by children or pets.

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Once you've cleansed your home of these toxics, you can replace them with some of the Queen of Green's healthy cleaning alternatives and safely dispose of HHW.

You can identify HHW with the following hazard symbols:

Toxic/PoisonPoison

These items poison or damage living organisms: solvents, batteries, antifreeze, medications, pesticides, fertilizers, wood stains and preservatives, radiator coolants, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and any confirmed or suspected carcinogens.

CorrosiveCorrosive

These items eat away at surfaces, including the skin of humans or animals. Corrosive materials include bleach and household cleaners, rust removers, wax strippers, laundry stain removers, oven cleaners, drain cleaners, and automotive lead-acid batteries.

Flammableflammable

These items burn easily and pose serious risk of igniting with minimal spark or heat. They include fuel oil, gasoline, motor oil, kerosene, camping fuel, paint thinners, lighter fluids, contact cement, oil-based paints, insect repellent, partially full aerosol containers, furniture cleaners, paint brush cleaners, and gasoline/oil mixtures.

Reactive/Explosiveexplosive

These pressurized containers contain materials that can poison or damage living organisms: gas cylinders that carry propane or butane and aerosol cans with unused product.

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