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blog: A safer home and a safer you

Pallavi Mukerjee
Vail CO, Colorado

Hazardous materials or waste are found both inside and outside the home.

Where is hazardous materials/waste in our homes?

Kitchens and Bathrooms are the most ordinary places to store hazardous materials. Cleaning products are the most common household hazardous waste. he easiest and safest thing to do with all household hazardous waste is to keep them locked up or else, out of sight and reach of children.

Hygiene and Beauty Products: Many products used in hygiene and beauty supplies are poisonous when eaten.

Some products such as nail polish remover and hairspray are flammable and shouldn’t be used near open flames.

New cosmetics can sometimes be dangerous to people because unlike drugs, there are no laws to prevent cosmetics from being sold before being tested or proven safe.

Prescription Medicines: These come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Children and pets can mistake them for candy.

All medicines should be kept in a cabinet that locks or in a high cabinet out of reach of children. Child resistant lids are not necessarily childproof.

If you have children and go to older people’s homes, be cautious as they often keep their medicines in the kitchen or near their bed. This may make it possible for children to get to them easily.

Home Oxygen Cylinders: Oxygen can cause materials that wouldn’t burn in normal air to become flammable.

One should stay away from all sources of open flame (e.g. gas appliances, candles, and cigarettes) while using oxygen.

One should also avoid using oil based health products while using oxygen, including petroleum jelly and heat rubs. Oxygen cylinders should be secured at all times to prevent tipping.

Avoid dragging or rolling cylinders, even for short distances. If the valve on the top of a cylinder is broken, it can take off and hurt or damage your home. The cylinders should be placed in areas away from heat sources including those without open flames, like electric heaters. If a cylinder or valve is damaged, don’t repair it; contact the equipment provider for assistance.

Pesticides, Fungicides and Rotendicides: Avoid over use of pesticides and use with caution on children or people with skin disorders.

Keep out of reach of children and pets. Some pesticides like foggers are extremely flammable; before using a fogger inside a home, it is important to extinguish all flames including pilot lights on gas appliances.

One should use caution when applying insecticide to your pet. Rinse flea and tick shampoo from pet’s coats. Residue can cause skin irritation or be licked off by the animal. Flea collar should be securely fastened around the animal’s neck so it can’t chew or pull the collar off.

Pallavi Mukerjee can be reached at Pallavi.Mukerjee@eaglecounty.us.


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