SPECIAL MANAGEMENT ITEMS
We use hazardous products every day in our homes. These products become a hazard when improper use or disposal will cause a threat to the environment or human health. Many common household products, such as paints, solvents, drain openers, oven cleaners, polishes, waxes, pesticides, cleaning agents and spent automotive products, have hazardous properties. For more information on which products at home may be hazardous refer to the list of common household products with potentially hazardous ingredients.
The properties that make these products hazardous are:
|Flammable||Easily set on fire or ignited.|
|Corrosive/Caustic||Burn and destroy living tissue on contact.|
|Explosive/Reactive||Detonate or explode by exposure to heat, sudden shock or pressure.|
|Toxic/Poison||Capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin.|
How to identify special management items
To help you identify hazardous products, federal law requires them to be labeled with warnings about their use, storage, and disposal. These labels include signal words to help you quickly identify hazardous products.
Signal word to look for on a label:
These signal words, along with the properties that make the product hazardous, are listed to help you use these products safely. However, these requirements do not apply to most hobby products and typically do not inform you of longterm health hazards. But, when provided, these labels provide valuable information that you can use to make informed choices about what products to buy and how to dispose of them if they become a waste.
To protect your family and the environment, follow these steps.
1. Buy Products Wisely
Read the label and buy non toxic alternatives or less toxic products.
Buy only what you need for the job to avoid leftover product. For more information about environmentally preferable purchasing, see pdf.
2. Consider making your own non-toxic cleaners.
To see how you can make your own, non-toxic cleaning recipes, click here. Be sure to follow non-toxic recipes directions. For your safety, DO NOT experiment with additional ingredients.
3. When you do buy hazardous products, store them safely.
- Close lids tightly so products will not dry out, evaporate or leak.
- Store products in cool, dry area away from sources of heat, spark or flame.
- Store products in original container with label intact.
- Separate flammables, corrosives, and poisons; store them on separate shelves.
- Store products in secure location away from a child’s reach, but keep products at a level that does not require you to reach over your head.
4. Use Products Safely
- Read the label carefully before use and follow directions.
- Use only the recommended amount.
- Never mix products.
- Use products in well ventilated rooms and avoid breathing fumes.
Certain types of special management items have the potential to cause physical injury to sanitation workers, contaminate septic tanks or wastewater treatment systems if poured down drains or toilets, and present hazards to children and pets if left around the house. Federal law does allow disposal of household hazardous waste in the trash, however -- it is best to avoid these products to begin with OR locate a facility that will accept them.
The City of Atlanta does not currently offer an annual Household Hazardous Waste collection event. To find out how to dispose of these items, visit Earth911.org or see lists below.
Fluorescent Lamps & Mercury-Containing Products
E-Scrap (computers, cell phones, TV's)