Online Custom «Household Hazardous Products» Essay Sample

Household Hazardous Products

Household products are items that are used in homes for the purpose of accomplishing daily chores. They are of wide varieties and make living in a house simpler. Furthermore, household products can be classified according to their characteristics. Basing the characteristics of these products on their environmental hazards, they can be classified according to hazardous or non-hazardous household products. This paper aims at discussing the background information of hazardous household products, their characteristics, standards of these pollutants and their health effects.

A household hazardous product is an item that is pollutant to the environment if during its disposal it is done in an inappropriate way. A household product can also be hazardous when stored in a place that is unsafe (Goulstone, 2001). For instance, some products ought to be stored out of reach of children, and once they are not stored in such places, they become hazardous to children. Another instance is when products that contaminate food are stored near food storage places. Such products are dangerous to human health as they contaminate the food that people consume. Therefore, one should understand the properties of these products in order to use the effective criteria of handling them.

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Hazardous household products are divided into toxic, explosive, reactive, combustible, flammable and corrosive. Toxic products are products that are harmful to human health. They can either be consumable or non-consumable. Most importantly, they pose a risk when they are used in the wrong way. These items include some bath and body products, household cleaners that irritate the skin and dryer sheets. There are also other toxic products that are generally harmful in nature (LaGrega, Buckingham, & Evans, 2010). They are toxic due to their ingredients. For instance, there are some body oils and perfumes that are harmful if one uses them for long. This is because they contain harmful ingredients that destroy the human skin. Therefore, such toxic products should only be used in small quantities (Goulstone, 2001).

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The next type of hazardous products is explosive. They are mostly propellants or fuels that are kept in pressurized containers. Such products include aerosol cans, propane tanks, cooking gas and butane filler used as lighters. There are also explosives that are not propellants. Furthermore, certain household substances when mixed with others can be extremely dangerous. For example, when vinegar is mixed with baking soda, the reaction is explosive (LaGrega et al., 2010). Therefore, explosive products ought to be used carefully.

Flammable products are also hazardous in nature. Flammable products are items that pose a threat of fire during their routine use. Such products ought to be stored far from fire sources. They include aerosols and fuels. They should be stored in containers that are air tight and do not allow their spillage. Fuels, such as petrol and kerosene, should be stored outside the house and locked to prevent children from reaching them. While using flammable products, one should ensure that they are in a ventilated place (Steinemann et al., 2011). There should also be an open exit in case of a fire breaking out. Cloths used to wipe the spillages should be used with care. They should not be used when dry because they can easily be ignited.

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Corroding products are also a hazard. Corrosion is the decomposing of materials due to their reaction with other substances (Goulstone, 2001). Many household cleaning items pose a threat to the skin and eyes. Such items include oven and drain cleaners. Therefore, when using them, one should wear protective clothing such as gloves (Steinemann et al., 2011). Other corrosives give off harmful vapors that are harmful to humans. Consequently, corrosive products should be stored in proper containers. Plastic containers should not be used to store them as they will be corroded.

The degree of danger of these products varies. Some products contain symbols that show such a degree. An octagonal shape symbol in a product means danger; a tilted square warns the user on the usage of the product; and an inverted triangle shows that one should be highly cautious while using the product (Cabaniss, 2008). One should read a product’s instructions before using it. This enables one to use the product in a proper way hence minimizing the hazard.

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There are various standards that have been put in place to control the use of hazardous household products. These standards ought to be followed in order to minimize the hazard. Governments have come up with laws that regulate the use of these products. Governments have also set up bodies that regulate the usage of such products (Goulstone, 2001). For instance, these bodies set up conditions that the companies producing hazardous products have to follow. The conditions include regulations regarding storage of the products once they have been produced and labeling the products adequately. Once the products are stored in proper packages, the danger is minimized. Additionally, once the manufacturer has labeled the product adequately, the users will be more cautious while using it. The label should include the usage instructions and the ingredients that have been used to make the product (Cabaniss, 2008).

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The effects of such products cannot be underestimated. Although proper storage and usage is maintained, there might still be a risk that will be posed by these products. Health effects are the main effects that are maintained (Ojeda-Benítez, Aguilar-Virgen, Taboada-González & Cruz-Sotelo, 2013). The use of these hazardous products has not only led to health problems, but also deaths of many people. These deaths are a result of these health impacts.

In conclusion, the world should adhere to the regulations that official bodies impose with an aim to reduce the hazard. Governments should also adhere to the policies that the World Health Organization comes up with to reduce the hazard. Therefore, people all around the world should emulate the WHO approach towards the hazardous household products.

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