Household Hazardous Waste

 

While most household waste can be safely stored and disposed of by simply taking out the garbage, hazardous waste must be treated differently. Certain products cannot simply be poured down the drain, into sewer systems, or on the ground. Proper disposal not only protects the environment, but it also protects you, your family, and anyone coming into contact with this waste. 

How to Handle Household Hazardous Waste Properly

The first essential tip starts with following the instructions on the product label. By meeting the requirements listed, you can help prevent any accidents from occurring. This includes reading the instructions as to the disposal of the product itself. 

Many chemicals that are improperly handled may become dangerous when mixed with other chemicals, exposed to the skin, or inhaled into the lungs. Chemicals that are flammable not only may catch on fire but explode and cause considerable damage and injury. The product label should inform you what to do with hazardous materials once you no longer have need of them. 

It is recommended that you store chemicals in their original containers whenever possible. If the container is corroding, then you may want to call the local fire department or hazardous materials official in your area. You also never want to mix hazardous waste with other chemicals. If you have leftover chemicals, it may be tempting to mix them with other unwanted chemicals or products so they can be disposed of together. However, the mixture may cause additional issues such as explosions, fire, or other serious problems. 

Most communities have designated sites for the proper disposal of household hazardous waste. Check to see where your local designated site is located and what materials they accept. 

Reducing Household Hazardous Waste in Your Home

Instead of purchasing potentially dangerous products, you can instead use alternatives where available. Here’s a short list of alternatives that are safe to use, store, and dispose of when no longer needed: 

  • Drain Cleaner: Plumber’s snake or plunger 
  • Furniture Polish: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one pint of vegetable oil 
  • Glass Cleaner: Mix one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with one quart of water
  • Mothballs: Cedar chips, rosemary, or white peppercorns
  • Rug Deodorizer: Sprinkle baking soda and vacuum after 15 minutes

Why Choose Brickley Environmental? 

If you have questions about the proper use, storage, and disposal of household hazardous waste, call the experts at Brickley Environmental. Your call will be answered by friendly, courteous staff who will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide the proper guidance so you can make the best-informed decision.

At Brickley Environmental, we work with people who have the same issues that you are facing with hazardous household waste including its proper disposal. We also provide expert services in asbestos abatement, lead-based paint removal, mold remediation, demolition, and more. Call today and find out more about how Brickley Environmental can help you. 

For more information about properly disposing of hazardous waste, click here to visit the EPA website.

Asbestos Exposure and Coronavirus

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause great concern, especially among the elderly and immunocompromised to catching the virus, many residents who have experienced exposure to asbestos may feel even more at risk.

The advent of COVID-19 only made a vulnerable population even more susceptible and combining asbestos exposure with it only makes things worse.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is noted for being fire-resistant. For many decades, asbestos was used in many buildings, factories, plants, and even housing units for its fire-resistant properties. It’s even been used in products containing talc, such as baby and body powders. 

While the first indications of the dangers associated with asbestos arose in the 1920s, it was not until the 1970s that the mineral was banned across the US. Today, there are still many buildings that were built in the 1970s or earlier that contain asbestos.  

Asbestos and Coronavirus

People who have been exposed to asbestos, even if they have not developed mesothelioma or other lung-related issues, are vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. This is because asbestos in the lungs damages the tissues, making viruses that cause respiratory problems more of a threat. For anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos, it raises the risk of complications caused by COVID-19.  

That makes it even more imperative to hire a professional company to inspect and remove any asbestos in your home or business. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect that your home or business contains asbestos, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. Armed with the knowledge, experience, and tools to identify and remove asbestos, Brickley Environmental offers its professional services to businesses and homeowners. 

Call today and the staff at Brickley Environmental will listen to your needs, explain our services, and conduct a proper inspection of your facility, building, or home at your request. Given the dangers of asbestos, it is best to act as soon as possible to protect those who live or work inside. 

For more information on asbestos, click here to visit the EPA website.

How to Clean Your Home After a Flood 

Flooding in your home or business can really disrupt your life. Once you have been cleared to go back into the building or residence by the authorities, it becomes a race against time to properly clean the property. It’s not just the water and dirt that causes damage, it is the bacteria, viruses, and potential for mold that can really do damage. 

The first step should be to file a claim with your flood insurance. Be sure to follow the proper steps when filing your claim. But that is only the first step in the recovery process. 

Inspection of Flooding

A flood can often bring with it more damage than you might initially see. This means downed power lines, breaks in gas mains, and other damage that will need to be addressed. Walk both inside and around the outside of your home to fully assess all damage to your home. You’ll want to shut off the gas, power, or water if you detect any leaks in that regard. 

Protection from Flooding

You do not want to conduct your inspection or start the cleaning process until you have properly protected yourself. This not only means wearing gloves, but also eye protection, masks, and even putting on a respirator to filter out the viruses, bacteria, and mold spores that may be present. It is also possible that the flood has brought in unwanted chemicals that may also be dangerous. So, be sure to protect your lungs with the proper equipment. 

Dry, Clean, & Remove

You’ll need to dry out your property as soon as possible. This will not only limit the damage, but also the spread of viruses, bacteria, and mold. Use wet vacs to suck up all the water and fans to dry out the interior. 

As the interior is being dried, clean out all the debris. This means everything that has come into the home or building. Plus, remove all furniture, carpet, and other items that have gotten wet from flood water. These items will need to be cleaned separately. 

Replace Items Damaged from Flooding

Remove any drywall and wooden structural material that has been damaged by the flood. You will need to have this replaced to fully restore the property to its original condition. 

Cleaning up after a flood can be a considerable task. That is why most people call a reputable, professional company that specializes in cleaning up after a flood. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you need to clean your home after a flood, call the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to fully clean your home. Floods can bring with them more than just dirt and debris. Brickley Environmental can also clean away the viruses and bacteria associated with flood water. 

If your home or business has recently experienced a flood, call Brickley Environmental and talk to one of our friendly, courteous staff. We will listen to your needs and arrive quickly to address the situation. Let us help you get your life back to normal. Call today and find out more about our flood cleaning services. 

For more information on how to clean your home after a flood, click here to visit the CDC website.

Demolition: Construction in Reverse with Additional Hazards

Demolition

Demolition could be dangerous. The hazards of a construction site are well known with thousands of minor injuries, hundreds of serious injuries, and accidental death being a part of the process. The same is true for demolition; the deconstruction of buildings. 

Although it is easier to demolish than construct, the injuries and fatalities that occur on demolition sites can be greatly reduced with the proper planning, training, protective equipment, and compliance with standards set by OSHA. 

The Hazards of Demolition

Demolition involves the same basic hazards as construction with additional factors that make it, in some ways, even more dangerous. These can include things such as:

  • Hidden Hazardous Materials: Asbestos, Heavy Metals, Lead, and more 
  • Unknown Changes or Modifications to the Building Structure 
  • Weaknesses in Construction Materials
  • Hazards of the Methods Used in Demolition 

To ensure maximum safety for all who are involved in demolition efforts, care must be taken right from the start. Helpful actions that can aid in this include:

  • Planning: This begins with a full survey and inspection of the building about to be demolished by a trained, qualified specialist. 
  • Locating Utilities: All nearby utilities need to be located and accounted for in the demolition process. 
  • Safety Protocols: This includes prevention of fire, having first aid and emergency services close by, and an evacuation plan in case the structure is about to collapse. 

All of this must take place before the demolition work begins. It is this type of preparation that can prevent injuries and save lives. 

Protection

All personnel on the demolition site should wear the proper personal protective equipment or PPE. These include:

  • Head, eyes, face, ears, hands, and feet protection
  • Respiratory Equipment
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems or PFAS
  • Proper Protective Equipment for specialized jobs, such as welding 

Wearing the proper protective gear can help prevent injuries and even save lives. When combined with the right training, this can only improve the safety conditions on-site. 

Of course, accidents can happen even on the safest and most secure demolition sites. So, proper training on how to deal with injuries and having emergency services easily accessible will also help ensure safety. Following OSHA guidelines also assists in protecting employees on the demolition site. This provides guidance in recognizing potentially hazardous conditions and avoiding and removing them from the property. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

Brickley Environmental is the one to call to conduct a safe, secure demolition. With over 30 years of experience in the Southern California area,  Brickley Environmental follows all safety protocols,  OSHA regulations,  and engages in the proper planning to ensure that all areas are covered for your demolition project. Call us today to discuss your needs.

For more information, visit OSHA’s website

 

Lead Hazard

If you live in a home that was originally painted with lead paint, some of the lead may still be around underneath layers of new paint. When exposed, it may cause lead-poisoning issues that mostly affect children but can affect adults as well. 

Where to Look for Lead

Most lead paint was used in the following areas. 

  • Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Floors
  • Baseboards, Stairs, and Windows
  • Porches, Exteriors, Woodwork and Trim 

Such areas are often painted over numerous times over the years, so the paint may still be trapped under the surface. However, if the area is subject to impacts, friction, or deterioration, then the underlying paint may be exposed. 

How to Maintain the Condition of Your Paint

If you suspect that lead paint is present in your home, then you can create a strong barrier to help ensure that it never gets exposed to the surface. A good place to start is by keeping the layers of protection over old paint by touching up from time to time areas that may be deteriorating. 

Baseboards: You can fully remove the baseboards and replace with new ones. Also, you can cover the baseboards with contact paper, duct tape, or paint over them again. 

Doors: Use felt bumpers on the edges of the doors. Or, you can use duct tape to cover the edges which are at most risk of exposure. If you suspect that lead paint may be underneath, consider removing the door entirely and replacing with a new one. 

Floors & Stairs: Rugs and carpet can reduce, if not eliminate the friction caused by foot traffic. Adding a runner to the stairs can also reduce the possibility of creating lead dust. 

Windows: Use contact paper to cover window trims and surfaces that may have contaminated paint. You can also use duct tape as well. Try to minimize the opening and closing of windows as much as possible to reduce impact. 

This means identifying areas subject to moisture which may cause the paint to fall apart. And, do not remove any paint which might create dust which contains lead. 

You will need a professional removal service to eliminate the product from your home. That is where Brickley Environmental can be of service. 

Let Brickley Environmental Help

You can get peace of mind when calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental. If you believe that lead may be present on your property or if it is coming in from another area, Brickley Environmental can find out thanks to their expert services. 

For more information on lead poisoning, visit the CDC’s website here.

Another article about the dangers of lead from BrickleyEnv can be found here.