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Test Your Knowledge: Answers

1.   On the label of a product, what does a skull and cross bones mean? (Justin, Age 14, Kentucky)

The answer is (B), "The product is poisonous.". When products contain poisonous chemicals, their label must have the word "POISON" and the skull and crossbones symbol on it. The label will also have the signal word "Danger".

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2.   A 20-month-old Detroit girl is being treated for poisoning after ingesting a hair oil that does not contain a warning to parents about its danger. The girl, who is in good condition and under observation at Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, took a sip of Luster's Pink Hair Oil, doctors said. (Excerpted from the Detroit Free Press, May 10, 2002).

What can you do in your home to prevent an accident like this from happening?

Answer: The best answer is (B), "Keep household products, even personal care products like shampoos or perfumes, and medicines out of reach of children." Always keep household products, personal care products and medicines out of reach of children. Even though a product doesn't have any warning signs on the label, it can still be harmful.

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3.   You can get more information about pesticides from:

The best answer is (A), "National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)." NPIC offers both a toll-free hotline and a web site for questions about pesticides. The National Pesticide Information Office (NPIO), sounds very official, but it doesn't exist.

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4.   Your big sister has to finish cleaning the bathroom before she can go out with her friends. She is using a toilet bowl cleaner your mom gave her. She thinks the job will go much faster if she adds some bleach too. What should you tell her?

Answer: The best answer is (C), "Never mix a chlorine bleach with any other household or cleaning products. I'm getting Mom." Never mix household cleaning products. Doing so can result in poisonous gasses being released and cause very serious breathing problems. And don't think it'll be okay as long as you hold your breath. Because when you can't hold your breath any longer, your body wants you to take in a deep breath to get the oxygen it needs. Then you may be taking a deep breath of poisonous gasses. Not good. And yeah, go ahead and tell Mom. Never be afraid to let your parents know of situations that could be harmful to you and your family.

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5.   If you need a toxic product for school, should you ask your mom first? (Kate, Age 5, New York)

Answer: True, you should always ask a parent, even if you're only buying glue. They will help you pick the the safest product for you to use.

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6.   Can insects be beneficial or useful?

Answer: The answer is (A). "Yes, some insects can be beneficial." Ladybugs control other pest insects. They eat the aphids and mites which feed on plants in your home and garden. Honey bees not only help pollinate many flowers and crops but they make honey too.

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7.   Your Dad has just finished changing the oil in his car. What should he do with the used oil?

Answer: The best answer is (B), "Pour it back into an empty motor oil container and recycle it." Many states require motor oil to be recycled so trash collection companies and dumps or landfills will not take it. Contact your local city or county to find out how or where used oil can be taken. Gas or service stations may also be collection places. Never pour used oil on the ground or down an drain. It could leach to ground water or pollute streams and other water bodies. Motor oil can also cause problems with sewage treatment processes, even if your house uses a municipal sewage treatment and not a septic tank system like many houses in rural areas.

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8.   A mobile home "exploded" yesterday after insecticide from three aerosol bug bombs came in contact with the pilot light of a gas stove. Ethel Marie Gue, of the Bryans Road Mobile Home Park, put the six-ounce aerosol bug bombs in a kitchen cabinet shortly after 10 a.m. She was sitting in the living room when the cans exploded minutes later. The trailer's walls were bowed and most of the windows were blown out, but there was no fire. (Excerpted from the Washington Post, February 21, 2000)

What mistakes did Ethel Marie make?

Answer: The best answer is (D), "A and B." A. She used an aerosol can near the pilot light of her gas stove. (A pilot light is a small flame that ignites the gas from the stove burners.) and B. She stayed in the trailer while the insecticide was being released from the bug bombs.

The contents of bug bombs or "total release foggers" can be flammable and should never be used where there is an open flame, even a small one like the pilot light on a gas stove. Also, foggers release a gas that fills the air with an insecticide. Never be in a room where a fogger is in use. Not only will the air you breath contain the insecticide but it will get on your skin and in your eyes too.


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9.   A mobile home "exploded" yesterday after insecticide from three aerosol bug bombs came in contact with the pilot light of a gas stove. Ethel Marie Gue, of the Bryans Road Mobile Home Park, put the six-ounce aerosol bug bombs in a kitchen cabinet shortly after 10 a.m. She was sitting in the living room when the cans exploded minutes later. The trailer's walls were bowed and most of the windows were blown out, but there was no fire. (Excerpted from the Washington Post, February 21, 2000)

What mistakes did Ethel Marie make?

Answer: The best answer is (C), "She should have read the label on the cans of bug bomb." Always read the label first before you use any household product. By reading the label Ethel Marie would have known, not to uses them near an open flame, not to be inside the area where the bug bombs were being used and not to use more cans of bug bombs than was needed to treat a room.

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10.   Name a type of pesticide used in swimming pools.

Answer: The answer is (A), "Algicide.". Algicides are pesticides that may be used in swimming pools to control the growth of algae.

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