Questions to Ask

Use Safely

Do you use hazardous household products safely?

• Read the label. That is one of the most important steps in using products.

• Look for words like caution, warning, flammable, harmful, danger, poison. These tell you that a product may be hazardous. If you see these words on a label, take extra care.

• Look for special instructions on the label such as: "Work in well ventilated area." This means work outside or with the windows open. The fumes can make you sick if you do not have enough fresh air.

• "Wear protective clothing." This means wear goggles or safety glasses, gloves, long sleeves, or other coverings. The right clothing can prevent burns or keep chemicals from going into your body through the skin.

• Never mix products unless the label says it is safe to do it. For example, never mix products containing chlorine bleach with products containing ammonia. You will make a deadly gas by mixing these together.

• Keep children and pets away while you use hazardous products.

• Always put the cap back on and put away the product right after you finish using it.

• Never leave the product or container where children can see it or reach it.

• Don't eat, drink, or smoke when using hazardous products.

• Be ready in case there's an accident: Put the Poison Control Center telephone number, 800/222-1222, where you can find it quickly in case of an emergency. Tape it to the wall by your kitchen phone, for example.

• Buy Syrup of Ipecac at your local drugstore and keep it handy. This medicine makes a person throw up. But only use it when a doctor or the Poison Control Center tells you. Sometimes throwing up makes the poisoning worse.

Use Less

Can you cut down on the hazardous products in your home?

• Do you buy only what you need, so you don't have extras?

• Prevent or reduce pest problems so you don't need chemicals to kill them. Wash dishes and wipe counters often. Keep the garbage area tidy.

• If you're pregnant, don't use hazardous products if something else will do the job.

• Think about using tools or products known to be safe: Use a plunger to unclog sinks instead of chemicals. Clean with baking soda (for scrubbing) or ^ ■ " vinegar(for cutting grease).

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