Environment

5 Types of Hazardous Wastes Generated By Households

There are usually a fair amount of household items that contain hazardous materials and waste that we need to be careful with. When it comes to disposing of these hazardous wastes, it has to be done carefully and responsibly so as to avoid being hurt, but at the same time, you need to be careful so that someone else doesn’t get hurt either. Some of these will include ignitable, corrosive and toxic material or contain reactive ingredients, which are indicated and identified by their biohazard labels.

Improper disposal can harm the environment and threaten humans. Irresponsible disposal can cause poisoning, harm soil and air quality or pollute ground water. Let’s take a look at some of the items in a household that can be dangerous in this respect.

1. Batteries

Whenever possible, try to recycle your alkaline batteries. Though many commercial batteries have had mercury removed, they still do contain toxins that are not good for the environment.

2. Fluorescent Bulbs

Unfortunately, these bulbs contain some mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can damage the brain, central nervous system, kidneys and liver. The ones most affected are small children and infants. As long as the glass is not broken, it is quite safe. Once they no longer work and it’s time to get rid of it, you need to be extremely careful. They have to be recycled, otherwise they will end up in a landfill and contaminate groundwater, air and soil.

3. Herbicides & Pesticides

If you have a home, you are bound to come across all kinds of pests, particularly in the summer. Your garden may have weeds. To combat this, herbicides and pesticides are often used. Sometimes, pesticides can be inhaled or ingested and even absorbed through the skin. This can harm both people and animals. If you have children and pets, you need to be more careful. If these pesticides are not disposed properly, air, water and soil contamination can occur.

4. Corrosives

Corrosives can cause skin damage as well as corrode metal. They can be in liquid or solid form as well as caustic and acidic. Many household cleaners such as ammonia and bleach are corrosive in nature. They are obviously poisonous and if spilled, it has to be cleaned up immediately. These powerful chemicals also give off fumes which can be very dangerous if mixed. Some people have been known to mix chemicals, so never, ever do this. Make sure never to have prolonged exposure as it can be dangerous.

5. Medication

Medication that is old or unused or even expired used to be flushed down the toilet. However, these medications have been known to find their way back into drinking water. One particular investigation stated that antibiotics, sex hormones, mood stabilizers and anti-convulsants were found in the drinking water supplies of over 40 million Americans! This is a staggering find and it is also frightening when you consider the actions of other people can potentially harm you and you will never find out anything. Be responsible and find out how to dispose of medications properly.

There are still more things at home that are dangerous and must be disposed of properly. These include aerosols, flammable solids and liquids. There are ways to dispose many dangerous household items so that it does not cause harm to innocent people. You can always contact the appropriate authorities in your province and find out how.

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