Don't let hazardous household products and floodwaters mix
With heavy rains this month, 2014 is shaping up to be the wettest on record since 1871. Now’s the time to prepare and protect the inside of your home by getting rid of unneeded hazardous household products. Look for these words on the label: caution, warning, danger, poison, flammable, reactive, corrosive, toxic.
If you still have a use for an item and want to keep it, move it to a place that you are certain will not be flooded. Take any items you no longer need to your county’s household hazardous waste facility. If you live in Minnesota, Find your household hazardous waste collection site.
Check for these hazardous products in areas that are likely to be flooded
In the basement, workbench, or craft areas
- paint thinner
- household batteries
- furniture stripper
In the laundry room and other storage areas
- furniture polish
- spot remover
- pet flea spray/collars
In the garage and where yard products are kept
- motor oil
- weedkillers, insecticides and other pesticides
- pool chemicals
- other chemicals
In the kitchen
- drain, oven, and floor cleaners
In the bathroom
- nail polish/remover
- drain cleaner
- aerosol sprays
You can print out this checklist to identify common hazardous products in your home: Healthy home checklist .
- Move items such as vehicle batteries and propane tanks should to higher ground because they pose a danger if their contents are released to the environment.
- Move canned goods and other foodstuffs so they’ll be out of harm’s way. If these come in contact with flood waters, you should onsider them unsafe to eat and have to be thrown away.
- Put containers of bottled or other drinking water in a place that will stay dry throughout flooding. This will ensure that you’ll have safe water to drink and to cook with.
For more information
More information about disposing of hazardous waste: Hazards in your home.
More advice on what to do before and after flooding to minimize risks to health and damage to property and the environment is on the Floods: Minimizing pollution and health risks webpage.