Children's Health and Wellness

How Much Do You Know About Hazardous Materials in Your Home?

Bleach, ant killer, and gasoline are poisons commonly found in the home. But plenty of other toxic or hazardous chemicals fill our shelves and cupboards, and some of them may surprise you. Hairspray, for instance, is highly flammable. Learn more about these chemicals by taking this quiz.

1. Which of these are household poisons?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Most people know that toilet bowl cleaners contain toxic chemicals, but alcoholic beverages and cigarettes have them, too. Cigarettes contain nicotine and a host of chemicals that are carcinogenic. Of course, it takes a lot more alcohol or cigarettes to reach toxic quantities than it does toilet bowl cleaner. Other hazardous chemicals in the home include furniture polish, window cleaners, and air fresheners; laundry products and automatic dishwashing detergents; hairspray and fingernail polish; paint; varnish; batteries; inks; pesticides; and aerosols. Medications and vitamins are also hazardous if not used as directed. If children are in the home, medications and vitamins should be stored in childproof containers.A. Toilet bowl cleanerB. Alcoholic beveragesC. CigarettesD. All of the above2. The best way to handle a household cleaner is to:You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The label will tell you the proper way to use the cleaner and what precautions, if any, to take. Those precautions may include wearing rubber gloves or keeping a window open.A. Read the labelB. Use rubber glovesC. Keep a window openD. None of the above3. Hazardous cleaners are those that:You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Some products, such as bleach and ammonia, also produce toxic fumes if combined with other cleaning products.A. Irritate the skinB. Are harmful if swallowedC. Cause dizziness if used in an unventilated areaD. All of the above4. Which label wording is the safest when looking to buy a household product?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is This means the product does not contain hazardous chemicals. Signal words include danger, warning, and caution. Try to avoid buying products with Danger or Poison on the label. These are the most toxic. Other possible signal words include Irritant and Caustic. If you have purchased a product and can't tell from the ingredients or labeling whether it is poisonous, call the manufacturer's phone number on the label. When you call the manufacturer, request a Material Safety Data Sheet for the product. This will list all hazardous ingredients, and may provide some health and safety information.A. CautionB. WarningC. DangerD. No signal words at all5. If you only need a hazardous chemical like a lawn pesticide every now and then, how much of it should you buy?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Use all of it up before buying more. For frequently used hazardous chemicals like household cleansers, go for the best bargain but store them safely.A. The size that's the best buy for the moneyB. Only as much as you think you will needC. Twice as much as you need, so you'll have extra for laterD. None of the above6. Which of these is the best way to store hazardous chemicals in the home?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Make sure the container also has its label, to identify what's inside. NEVER store hazardous chemicals in a food or beverage container. If the original container is leaking, use a replacement container, but make sure it is CLEARLY labeled. Even with labels, all hazardous chemicals should be stored away from children.A. In the original container in a safe placeB. In a replacement container with an airtight lid or capC. In a used, but clean jarD. None of the above7. What's an indication that you should stop using a chemical?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is See your doctor or health care provider immediately if you think you have been poisoned or injured by exposure to a household chemical. To find the poison control center nearest you, visit AAPCC.A. You feel dizzyB. You feel nauseatedC. You develop a headacheD. Any of the above8. What's the best way to dispose of hazardous chemicals used at home?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Many hazardous chemicals should ONLY be disposed of through a hazardous waste processing site. Municipalities often sponsor hazardous waste collection days, during which residents can bring their household hazardous waste for disposal.A. Put them in a leak-proof container in the trashB. Carefully pour them down the drainC. Read the labels to see how to dispose of eachD. Bury them in the yardYour score was:
Print Source: Created for Wellness Library
Online Source: About labels, EPAhttp://www.epa.gov/pesticides/kids/hometour/labels.htm
Online Source: Federal Emergency Management Agencyhttp://www.fema.gov/areyouready/household_chemical_emergencies.shtm
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Chamberlain, Kevin, DO
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 6/24/2013