Garden sprays, cleaning products, fuels and even cosmetics can all be dangerous if they are not used or stored carefully. The Environmental Protection Authority has some rules and tips that will help you protect yourself, others, and the environment when using these sorts of products in and around your home.
For more advice call The Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766.
If a person is not breathing or is unconscious, call 111 immediately.
Hazardous Substances Report 2016
Each year we report data on incidents involving hazardous substances.
Read this year's report
[pdf, 1.2 mb]
Hazardous substances in your home
Many of the household chemicals you use every day are considered ‘hazardous substances’. It’s a term that covers many everyday products that have one thing in common: they can cause harm to you or the environment, or both. Some common hazardous substances are:
- Household cleaners
- Garden products
- Fuels, such as LPG for barbeques and petrol stored for lawnmowers
- Paints and paint thinners or solvents
- Spa and pool chemicals
- Poisons for pest animals
- Pet products like flea and mite treatments
These products do not have to be labelled with the word ‘hazardous substance’, but will have special instructions on their label to warn you of risks and tell you how to stay safe.
- You can download our Safety begins at home poster
Take special care to protect children
Children are naturally curious, and don’t understand the
dangers from hazardous substances such as cleaning products, garden sprays,
cosmetics and paints. It is impossible for little children to tell the
difference between something that is safe and something that could really hurt
Start by reading the label
You can find the best information for how to use,
store and get rid of a product safely by looking at the label. Here you will
find the special warnings and instructions that will let you know how to use
and store these products safely.
Store all your hazardous substances safely
You can make your home safer by making sure all
your hazardous substances are stored safely. Remember, many products we feel
comfortable using every day are considered ‘hazardous substances’ – from
children’s crayons to dishwashing liquid – so check the label if you’re unsure.
Dispose of used containers and old products
The way you dispose of products when you’re done
with them is important. You should read the instructions on the label to make
sure you understand any special steps you need to take to protect yourself,
others, and the environment. We also have some tips and advice to help you stay
Find out how to safely use and store common products
Protect yourself, your family and friends, and the environment by taking some simple steps to reduce the risks posed by some common hazardous products.