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.

Identifying Greener Cleaning Products

Cleaning products are an absolute necessity for keeping spaces free from contaminants. The same products that clean may also use toxic or harmful chemicals that cause their own issues. 

The chemicals used may linger in the air and cause physical irritation. Those with health issues such as asthma or other respiratory illnesses may suffer a reaction to the presence of chemicals in the air.

Green Products

Cleaning products that only use non-toxic, natural properties have been on the rise for years. They are normally identified by a green label which indicates that they are green, eco-safe, or environmentally friendly. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has a Safer Choice program that provides official labels to identify products that meet green standards. 

Such labels from the FDA make it easier to identify green products. Keep in mind that not all green labels are from the FDA nor do they meet the same requirements. This means that if you are concerned about the cleaning products you use, it pays to know how to identify what is officially a “green” product.

Issues with Chemical Cleaning Products

The risk of being exposed to cleaning products that use chemicals as opposed to natural ingredients will depend in large part on the sensitivity of the person and the type of environment where it is being used. A low concentration of cleaning products used in a well-ventilated area reduces the risk of being exposed and causing an unwanted reaction. 

A poorly ventilated area that uses a high concentration of cleaning chemicals raises the risk of exposure. Such hazards must include the following considerations. 

Housekeeping Staff: Those employed in janitorial services are directly exposed daily. Proper handling using gloves and protective gear is recommended. 

Waste Water: Chemicals may be exposed to populations outside the building in which they were used when washed down the drain. They are still present despite the dilution. 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): VOCs present a real danger when exposed on a regular basis. This is especially true for older cleaning products that have been stored for quite some time. 

Why Choose Brickley Environmental? 

The experts at Brickley Environmental have considerable familiarity with cleaning products of all types when it comes to their ingredients.

Brickley Environmental is here for you when you are not sure about the substances you have stored on your property.

For more information on safe cleaning products visit the EPA’s website here.

Home Chemical Safety Tips

You may be surprised to learn just how many hazardous chemicals are in your home. This is because many chemicals are used for cleaning, providing anti-freeze or brake fluid for your vehicles, and even nail polish remover or contact cement. There are four basic types of substances that are harmful to you, your family, and pets that may be in your home.

  • Acidic: They destroy materials on contact
  • Explosive: Under the right conditions, they can explode
  • Flammable: Easy to set aflame
  • Poisons: These are toxic if consumed

For the most part, harmful chemicals are marked as such for easy identification. You will need to treat such chemicals differently in terms of use and storage compared to harmless materials.

Storage

Proper storage of harmful chemicals will go a long way to prevent accidents from occurring. What follows are a few tips if you have such chemicals in the home.

Follow Instructions: Proper use of harmful chemicals will minimize exposure to you and everyone else in the household. With insecticides, be sure to clear the area and let the product fully dry before letting children and pets back in.

Keep All Harmful Chemicals Out of Reach of Children and Pets: In other words, store such chemicals high on a shelf and not in a cabinet. Remember that locked cabinets are still not 100% and you may forget to shut the door. But keeping them out of reach will prevent almost all accidents from occurring.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keeping them stored at room temperature and normal humidity conditions will not keep potentially explosive chemicals from becoming unstable. It will also preserve their effectiveness for longer periods.

Toss Out Old, Unused Chemicals: Every so often, you will want to remove old chemicals that are no longer used. While some may not have an expiration date, in many cases they will break down over time.

What to Do in an Emergency

Even the best plans may not prevent the accidental consumption of a toxic chemical or medication. You should have the emergency number handy and a bottle of ipecac. Ipecac is a chemical which causes a person to throw up the contents of their stomach. However, you should only use ipecac when instructed by a poison control center.

If you believe that your home may have harmful chemicals that you want safely disposed, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental can help.

Call Brickley Environmental Today

The knowledgeable, experienced professionals at Brickley Environmental can provide you with proper guidance when it comes to chemical exposure in the home. Our trained staff will listen to you, ask questions to fully understand the situation, and set an appointment to inspect the issue in your home. We also offer sound advice on how to properly store and dispose of household chemicals to minimize your concerns. Call today and let our professionals provide the guidance you need to identify and remove unwanted chemicals from your residence.

New EPA Ruling Does Not Eliminate Asbestos. How Does This Affect You?

EPA ruling asbestosThe latest ruling from the EPA, which was released on April 17, 2019, does not call for the total banning of asbestos in terms of imports for commercial use. This means that companies that wish to import or use asbestos materials in their products must be approved by the EPA before they can proceed. This new ruling leaves many angry at the EPA for not banning the substance totally.

However, there have been asbestos products that are now banned because they put the public at risk for asbestos exposure. The fibers in asbestos, when inhaled over time, may cause mesothelioma, which is a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer that has proven to be difficult to treat and quite deadly. The products listed include the following:

  • Adhesives, Roof Coatings, Extruded Sealant Tape, and Sealants
  • Electrical Paper, Acetylene Cylinder fillers, Friction Materials, and Millboard
  • Missile Liner, Arc Chutes, Pipelines, and Wrap
  • Woven and Cement Products, Roofing Felt, and Packing Materials
  • Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile, Reinforced Plastics, Building Products, and Separators for Batteries and Fuel Cells
  • Interestingly enough, the new ruling which puts the EPA in charge of whether asbestos is to be used was heavily criticized. This is because EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has promised in congressional testimony to completely ban the substance from any commercial use.

Bans on Asbestos Use

While the dangers of asbestos are well-known and the substance has been banned for any use in over 60 countries, some of the countries that have not fully banned it include the US, China, Russia, and India. These are some of the leading industrial countries in the world. Plus, Brazil has only recently fully banned asbestos as it was one of the leading producers of the mineral.

In addition, Mongolia, Singapore, and Ukraine were previously on the fully banned list but now have relaxed their regulations in terms of using this mineral.

The fear is that the continued use of asbestos, even in limited amounts, will increase the chances of people developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. While the vast majority of uses for asbestos has been banned, such as in building material, there are still products and certain appliances that use asbestos in limited amounts.

If you suspect that your residence, building or property has asbestos present, you will want to call a professional asbestos removal company to find out.

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

If you suspect the presence of asbestos in your residence, office, or facility, call Brickley Environmental today. The professionals at Brickley Environmental have the knowledge, training, and experience to identify and remove mold from your property. Over the years, we have developed the right techniques and use the best tools and equipment to safely remove asbestos from all types of structures.

Clean and Effective E-Waste Recycling

The rise of electronic devices, from televisions and radios to computers, laptops, mobile devices, and so much more, has created an electronic waste, or e-waste, issue. With over 50 million tons of e-waste being generated every year, only about 10 million tons are being recycled. The rest piles up in landfills where the toxic materials are starting to cause concern.

The natural solution is recycling, but e-waste is different from most items that undergo the recycling process. There is the added expense of stripping away the materials from devices which cannot be recycled. Plus, some e-waste has toxic elements that must be carefully handled, which also adds to the overhead in terms of recycling.

Pulse Power

Traditional recycling methods use chemical baths or mechanical crushers to start the transformation process of the material. However, they can be complicated, expensive, and cause health issues when not performed properly.

A chemical bath produces harmful effects in the atmosphere, in which those who work inside are particularly vulnerable. Mechanical crushers break apart items in a manner that may have unexpected results, especially if toxic materials are found inside. Plus, such devices may not be well-suited for separating certain materials, which in the end causes even more waste to be produced.

In Japan, researchers have developed a new recycling method that uses pulsed electric discharges or pulse power to process all types of materials into something that can be recycled. From e-waste to concrete and to water that needs to be treated, pulse power is providing a solution that more companies and organizations are investigating.

How Pulse Power Works

Electrical charges are used to break apart materials in a clean, efficient manner. For e-waste, which often combines both recyclable and non-recyclable materials, this is a simple way to separate the components so they can be handled properly.

For example, CD-ROMs are a common form of e-waste consisting of plastic and metal components. Such components can be separated with an average of 30 electronic pulses. Because the pulses use electricity only, there are no additional materials to purchase, such as the ingredients used for chemical baths. Nor is the equipment used in pulse power devices likely to breakdown as with mechanical recycling machines, which need constant maintenance and monitoring.

In addition, the electricity used is cheap and works on many different types of items that used materials from different sources. Once the materials are separated, they can either be recycled or disposed of properly with less contamination.

Solving Your Waste Recycling Needs

If your company is seeking solutions to its e-waste issues, Brickley Environmental can help. Offering services that help companies identify, remove, and recycle electronic waste, Brickley Environmental has the trained experience and personnel along with the right equipment to get the job done.