Spray paints, deodorants, fly sprays, hair sprays, and other products are packed in aerosol containers under pressure: use them carefully.
111 in an emergency
Healthline on 0800 611 116 for medical advice
National Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766 for poisons advice
The products in aerosol cans are packed under pressure. This means the cans can explode if they get damaged. Often, the product is something that can catch fire easily, so you need to be careful of that too.
- Always read and follow all the directions on the packaging before you start using the aerosol.
- Check the can for damage and leaks before spraying.
- Avoid breathing in the product as you spray.
- Spray outside if you can.
- If you have to use aerosol inside, keep windows open. If the instructions tell you to keep windows shut, leave the area as soon as you have sprayed and stay away until the product has had time to settle.
- Keep far away from fire and heat, including cigarettes, when you are using the aerosol.
Aerosol cans may leak or even explode if they are damaged. The leaked product may catch fire if it is near heat or a flame. Keep yourself and others safe by storing all aerosol cans carefully.
- Store cans away from flames or heat sources, including candles, heaters, and cigarettes.
- Check cans before you store them away – look for damage, listen for hissing sounds, and check for the smell of leaks.
- Store cans in a place that has a bit of space and will stay cool. Don’t put them in car glove boxes.
- Keep cans out of children's reach and sight – don't leave toilet air freshener cans on the floor beside the toilet.
Getting rid of used aerosol cans
Check with your local council or recycling service to see if it can take aerosol cans for recycling. Many do not, and some may want you to drop your used aerosol cans at a particular place or prepare the cans in a special way for recycling.
Before recycling or throwing away your used aerosol cans, you need to make sure they are totally empty. You may need to spray the last of the contents into an old box or bag that you can throw away separately.
Never breath in an aerosol!
It is very dangerous to inhale the contents of aerosol cans. Even doing this just once could kill you or make you very sick. Doing it regularly over a long time could damage your brain, nervous system, and other organs. Never inhale aerosol products on purpose.
If you think someone is sick from inhaling aerosols, call 111 straight away to get an ambulance.