Best Practices for Household Products

  • • Follow the instructions on the labels for all household chemicals.
  • • Keep away from children and pets to prevent poisoning.
  • • Keep all household chemicals stored in a well-ventilated area.
  • • Discard all partially used containers of household chemicals and all old household chemicals in an appropriate manner on the special days when they are collected for proper hazardous waste disposal.
  • • Purchase limited quantities of paints, paint strippers, kerosene, or gasoline to be used for household chores.
  • • Reduce usage or eliminate usage of methylene chloride, since it may cause cancer in animals or be converted to carbon monoxide in the body.
  • • Reduce or eliminate exposure to benzene, which may be found in environmental tobacco smoke, stored fuels, paints, and auto emissions in garages.
  • • Air out all dry cleaned materials before bringing them into the home environment.
  • 8. Lead may irreversibly affect brain and nervous system development and is found in approximately the 250,000 children in the United States aged 1-5 years who have blood lead levels greater than 10 pg/dL of blood. At high levels, the lead causes convulsions, coma, and death. At low levels, it affects the brain, central nervous system, blood cells, and kidneys.

The most common source of lead exposure for children is deteriorating lead-based paint from old houses typically constructed before 1978, and contaminated soil found in the immediate environment which has been exposed to past emissions of lead in gasoline, as well as discharges from industrial processes. Older structures may also contain leaded water pipes or lead used to solder various drinking water fixtures or pipes. It is estimated that 24 million homes may still potentially contain lead paint. Children may also ingest lead from toys and jewelry as well as eating utensils and cosmetics. (Also see Lead under Outdoor Air Pollutants above.)

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