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Sure, your home is clean… but is it safe for your family?

collage of cleaning products

October 2006

Be smart about using household products!

Be smart when you use, store, and dispose of household products.

scrub bucket and soapy sponge

Did you know that the products you use for cleaning, carpentry, auto repair and gardening can contain ingredients that can harm you, your family and your environment?

These products may harm your children and pets, cause physical injury to sanitation workers if put out for regular trash pick-up, and contaminate septic tanks or pollute the ground water if poured down drains and toilets.

Here’s what you can do to safeguard your family, your home and your community...


READ the Label
Before you buy, always check the product labels. Look for labeling that reads “DANGER,” “WARNING,” “CAUTION,” “TOXIC,” “CORROSIVE,” “FLAMMABLE,” or “POISON.” These warnings tell you if the product is harmful to you, your family and the environment, and how to use, store and dispose of it safely.


Pay close attention to the labels on:

KEEP products in their original containers and store them safely away from children and pets

DISPOSE of household products safely
Many communities hold special collection days or have special drop-off sites for harmful household products. Contact your local trash service for help, call EARTH 911 (1-877-EARTH-911), or visit www.earth911.com Exit EPA.

TRY alternative products when available

For everyday tasks, try household products that are less harmful. Remember to follow the same rules about storing these products and never mix these products together.

Did You Know…

The average home can have as much as 100 pounds of environmentally harmful products in the basement, garage and other storage areas. Make sure yours is safe.

View and print this brochure (PDF) (2 pp, 539K, about PDF).

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