Household Hazardous Materials are a real threat to our environment, our water, and our families. Why be concerned? The number one cause of accidental poisonings in children is HHMs. HHMs are common household items that are one of the following:
They contaminate our rivers, lakes and groundwater, result in
emergencies involving toxic fumes, fires and explosions, and are
responsible for nearly 10,000 poisonings in Iowa each year.
For more information, call the Iowa Poison Control Center Hotline at 800-222-1222.
Examples of HHMs
Examples of Household Hazardous Materials include:
Cleaners and Solvents
Fluorescent bulbs and tubes
Motor OilPaint Thinner
Oil Based Paints
Waxes and Polishes
How You Can Help
We can lower the amount of these items that are finding their way into our streams, soils, groundwater, and us. The best thing we can do is reduce the amount of toxic materials that enter our homes.
1. Buy Environmentally Safe Products
Buy the least hazardous product needed to get the job done.
Watch labels. Avoid labels with Caution, Warning, Danger or Poison. Look for safer words like non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-petroleum-based, free of ammonia, phosphates, dye or perfume, readily biodegradable, and non-fuming.
Watch for environmentally friendly labels like the green leaf.
For Household Hazardous Materials that do enter your home, careful attention must be taken by following the steps below.
2. Store HHMs Properly
Carefully read the storage warnings and store in appropriate container and location to protect children, pets and home.
Always store in the original container or properly labeled container.
3. Use HHMs Properly
Carefully read the safety directions on the product. Pay special attention to ventilation.
Wear gloves or other protective equipment when recommended.
Follow application guidelines and warnings.
Never mix chemicals.
4. Dispose of HHMs Properly
Do not dump. HHMs should not be dumped in a ditch, sewer, or sinkhole-this leads directly to our water and environment.
Avoid dumping toxic chemicals down the drain-again this leads directly to our water and environment.
Do not throw in trash to avoid fire, explosions, and chemical reactions
Use up what you buy. Buy small quantities to avoid storing for years under a sink.
Collection Centers & Events
Find a Household Hazardous Materials Collection Center or Collection
Event to dispose of your Household Hazardous Materials. Clayton County
does not have a Household Hazardous Materials Collection Center. Watch
for future Household Hazardous Materials Collection Events.
Some businesses collect recyclable HHMs like batteries, light bulbs, and
motor oil. Check local businesses and hardware stores for recycling
Below items now fall below federal and state hazardous waste standards and are not considered HHMs:
Lead-Free Latex paint (after 1990): Dry out paint, remove lid, and throw away.
household alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 6V, 9V) and lithium
batteries (3V, 6V, 3V): These may be thrown away, but it is better to
recycle them. Most other button batteries, rechargeable batteries and
larger batteries are considered toxic and are not safe for the trash.