Chemicals can create fatal reactions. 41 American workers died after inhaling toxic chemicals on the job. This number accounts for a small fraction of chemical deaths, given how many chemicals Americans use at home.
You must master how to dispose of chemicals. Yet chemical disposal advice is complicated.
What should you do to get rid of your excess electronics? How can you throw away your cleaning products? What are some dangerous building materials that you can swap out for new ones?
Answer these questions and you can minimize your exposure to dangerous materials. Here is your quick guide.
A typical chemical disposal guide will focus on electronics. A small electronic like a smartphone can contain dozens of dangerous chemicals. Any chemical can damage your skin or airway if you are not careful.
The easiest way to dispose of your electronics is to give them to an expert. You can go to a college or your municipal dump. Someone there can break down your electronics for you.
Never throw your entire electronic device into the trash. Some states and most cities outlaw this because electronics can leak. You can put your device in a trash bag so its chemicals do not leak on you.
Batteries contain some of the most toxic chemicals in the residential setting. It is very important that you get your batteries recycled. They will damage the soil and water if you allow them to degrade in a landfill.
Major retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot have bins where you can drop off your used batteries. You can combine different types of batteries together if you have them. As with electronics, you can transport them inside plastic bags so they do not leak on you.
Fluorescent light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury. Though these amounts seem harmless, they can kill insects and fish.
Put your bulbs in a thick box. They can break if you put them inside a plastic bag. Label the box with a broken glass sticker and bring it to your local hardware store.
If your hardware store does not have a collection bin, you can contact your manufacturer. They may have a mail-back program, though the program may be limited to whole bulbs.
If your bulbs are broken, wrap them in pieces of newspaper. You can throw away small shards of glass in your trash.
How you dispose of cleaning supplies depends on the supplies themselves. Anything you use to clean drains or sinks can go down the drain. Run some hot water and then pour your supplies down.
Products you use to clean walls or flooring should not go down the drain. Check the back of your bottles for disposal instructions and follow them to the letter.
When in doubt, take your supplies to trash professionals. You should always take oven cleaners and strong chemicals to professionals.
After you throw away hazardous cleaning supplies, you can get all-natural ones. Look for brands that do not use toxic chemicals.
Used oil, antifreeze, and oil filters are dangerous. They are poisonous, especially for children and pets. They can pollute the land and damage plants, including grass.
Most car repair shops are willing to take excess fluid and broken engine parts. If you have a broken car battery, you can bring it back to the retailer. You may be able to get some money for it if the retailer can repair it.
You should follow several chemical disposal tips for paint. When you are removing paint from a wall, wear a respirator and gloves. Paint dust can get inside the lungs or eyes and cause irritation.
Put the paint you have extracted in an airtight container. You cannot reuse it. You can bring it to a home improvement store or hazardous waste plant.
If you have an excess can of paint, you should keep it. It can last for more than a decade as long as the paint is in a sealed container. You never know when you might need to paint something.
If you must give it away, donate it to a nonprofit that constructs important buildings. Habitat for Humanity and other organizations accept excess paint for their building projects.
Many older buildings contain asbestos in their tiles, insulation, and roofing materials. Asbestos can cause significant lung problems, including lung cancer. You should call a professional to remove your asbestos.
Some houses also have arsenic in their wood. Arsenic is another carcinogen that can also damage the nerves. Replace your wooden surfaces with new ones as soon as possible.
Formaldehyde is another chemical found in many pieces of wooden furniture. When it burns, it can irritate the eyes and help tumors grow in the lungs. Remove your pressed wood products and replace them with all-natural ones.
How to Dispose of Chemicals
You can dispose of chemicals in no time. Professionals can take care of your electronics, light bulbs, and batteries. Most retailers offer bins where you can drop these materials off.
You should handle cleaning supplies and automotive fluids on a case-by-case basis. Read guides from your retailers on how to get rid of these products.
You can throw away paint chips and give away excess cans. Invite a renovation crew to handle your toxic building materials.
Disposing of chemicals is one way you can make your home safer. Read additional safety guides by following our coverage.
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