Safe storage of common household products

If you are required to use toxic products, keep them out of the wrong hands

City Of San Diego Environmental Services Department
n the wake of another accidental poisoning, parents are being warned to ensure that household products containing toxic chemicals are safely stored and out of reach of children. Earlier this month a two year-old North County child received severe burns to the mouth and throat after accidentally swallowing tub and tile cleaner.
Unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common. Last year in San Diego there were 2,573 cases of exposure to household hazardous materials in children under the age of six, according to Dr. Anthony Manoguerra of the San Diego Regional Poison Center at UCSD Medical Center.
"Children under the age of six are the most susceptible to accidental exposure, because they are in the stages of growth and development where they are exploring and learning about the world around them," said Manoguerra. "And what children see and reach for, they put in their mouths."
Household hazardous materials are products containing toxic chemicals. Any product labeled with the words CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER, POISON, FLAMMABLE, CORROSIVE or REACTIVE is considered a household hazardous material and requires special storage and handling.

Danger areas in the home

Accidental poisonings and/or exposure to hazardous materials can happen anywhere, but they most often occur in the kitchen, bathroom or garage, where cleaning, automotive and exterior home supplies are stored. Common hazardous products stored in the kitchen and bathroom include all-purpose cleaners, oven cleaner, furniture polish and drain cleaner. Antifreeze, arts and crafts supplies, paint and pesticides are hazardous products typically stored in the garage.

Reduce the risk

Parents can safeguard their child and reduce the risk of exposure to household hazardous materials by following these steps: In case of emergency, call the San Diego Regional Poison Center at (619) 543-6000. Additionally, a bottle of Ipecac syrup should be kept on hand to be used to induce vomiting, but only if instructed by Poison Center staff or your doctor. For more information regarding prevention of exposure to household hazardous materials, call (619) 235-2111.

The City of San Diego Household Hazardous Materials is sponsored by the Environmental Services Department and the Water Utilities Department with additional funding from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.