Household Chemical Safety

Every home contains products that may potentially be hazardous. Though the risk is low, your family could be exposed to harmful substances. Knowing how to handle and store these products and what to do should an emergency happen, can go a long way in reducing the risk of injury.

House Safety
Household Chemical Use & Storage

List of Hazardous Household Products

beauty products | cleaning products | indoor pesticides | automotive products | workshop & painting supplies | lawn & garden products | fuel

Search for the following in your home and check the label. Are you storing, using, and disposing of each product according to directions? Are all items stored away from children and pets?

Hazardous Household Products

Search for the following products in your home and check the label. Are you storing, using, and disposing of each product according to directions? Are all items stored away from children and pets?

Beauty Products

  • hair spray aerosol cans
  • deodorant aerosol cans
  • nail polish & remover
  • hair dyes
  • permanent waves
  • skin care products
  • sun screens
  • perfumes

Cleaning Products

  • oven cleaners
  • drain cleaners
  • furniture, wood, & metal cleaners
  • furniture & floor polish
  • toilet bowl cleaners
  • tub, tile, shower cleaners
  • chlorine Bleach
  • detergent
  • dishwashing liquid
  • dry cleaning chemicals
  • rug and upholstery cleaners
  • all aerosol spray products

Indoor Pesticides

  • ant sprays & baits
  • cockroach sprays & baits
  • flea repellents & shampoo
  • spider sprays
  • moth repellents
  • bug sprays
  • mouse & rat poisons and baits
  • bed bug insecticides
  • termite baits
  • fly & mosquito sprays
  • houseplant insecticides
  • garden pesticides

Automotive Products

  • motor oil
  • fuel additives
  • carburetor and fuel injection cleaners
  • air conditioning refrigerants
  • starter fluids
  • automotive batteries
  • transmission and brake fluid
  • antifreeze
  • paint thinners
  • adhesives
  • lubricants & solvents
  • all aerosol spray products

Workshop & Painting Supplies

  • adhesives & glues
  • furniture strippers
  • oil or enamel-based paint
  • stains & finishes
  • paint thinners & turpentine
  • paint strippers & removers
  • fixatives, lubricants, & solvents
  • all aerosol spray products

Lawn & Garden Products

  • pesticides
  • herbicides
  • insecticides
  • fungicides
  • fertilizers
  • gasoline


  • propane tanks
  • other compressed gas cylinders
  • kerosene
  • home heating oil
  • diesel fuel
  • gasoline
  • gas/oil mix
  • butane
  • lighter fluid
  • ethanol
  • methanol
  • acetylene
House Safety
Household Chemical Safety Tips

Follow These Guidelines

  • Buy only what you will use.
  • Keep products in original containers and don’t remove labels.
  • Never store in food, drink, or other containers.
  • Never mix chemicals with anything else.
  • Place oily rags or waste in covered metal cans and dispose of them according to local regulations.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for storage and use.
  • Never use these products around these chemicals: cigarettes, hairspray, cleaning solutions, paint products, pesticides, candles, fireplaces, wood burning stoves.
  • Post the National Poison Control number next to your landline and in your cell phone. The number is: 1-800-222-1222.

Wipe Up Spill Immediately

  • Use rags for cleanup.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Allow fumes in rags to dissipate/dry outdoors.
  • Wrap rags in newspaper and seal them in a plastic bag.
  • Throw rags in a trash can outside.

Dispose of Hazardous Waste Correctly

  • Identify Hazardous Waste: Hazardous waste can be in the form of solids, liquids, gases, or sludge. They can easily catch fire, react, explode, or are corrosive or toxic.
  • Safe Disposal and Recycling: Many communities have collection programs for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) to reduce potential harm posed by these chemicals. Contact your local environmental, health, or solid waste agency to learn about permanent or periodic HHW collections near you.
  • Avoid Improper Disposal: Improper disposal of HHW can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the regular trash. This can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.
  • Local Laws & Regulations: Many counties and states attach legal responsibility towards disposing hazardous waste. Research your local laws for disposing hazardous waste.
House Safety
What to do during a chemical emergency

If a hazardous chemical spill has taken place and there is a risk of fire or explosion, get out of your house immediately and call the fire department from outside of your home. Stay upwind and away from the residence to avoid breathing in toxic fumes.

Know the Signs of Toxic Poisoning

  • difficulty breathing
  • irritation of the eyes, skin, throat, or respiratory tract
  • changes in skin color
  • headache or blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • cramps or diarrhea

Take Action

If someone is experiencing toxic poisoning symptoms or has been exposed to a household chemical:

  • Call the national poison control center.
  • Find any containers of the substance that are readily available in order to provide the requested information.
  • Follow the emergency operator or dispatcher’s first aid instructions carefully. The first aid advice found on containers may be out of date or inappropriate.
  • Do not give anything by mouth unless advised to do so by a medical professional.
  • Afterwards, discard clothing that may have been contaminated as some chemicals may not wash out completely.