Even if you use them properly, many chemicals can still harm human health and the environment. When you throw these substances away, they become hazardous waste. Some hazardous wastes come from products in our homes. Our garbage can include such hazardous wastes as old batteries, bug spray cans and paint thinner. U.S. residents generate 1.6 million tons of household hazardous waste per year. Hazardous waste is also a by-product of manufacturing.
You may have hazardous wastes in your basement or garage. How do you get rid of them? Don't pour them down the drain, flush them, or put them in the garbage. See if you can donate or recycle. Many communities have household hazardous waste collection programs. Check to see if there is one in your area.
Environmental Protection Agency
- Hazardous Waste: Learn the Basics of Hazardous Waste (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Household Products Database (National Library of Medicine)
- Best Way to Get Rid of Used Needles and Other Sharps (Food and Drug Administration)
- Household Hazardous Waste (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste)
- Safe Disposal of Pesticides (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances) - In English and Spanish
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
Statistics and Research
- TOXMAP (National Library of Medicine) - Create maps showing locations of toxic chemical releases
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Environmental Protection Agency Also in Spanish
- EPA: OWER to OLEM: Office of Land and Emergency Management (Environmental Protection Agency)
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Also in Spanish