What's in your house?

Do you use chemicals in your home? Most people use hazardous chemicals every day without thinking about it.

Common household chemicals

Common chemicals include:

  • Paint, solvents and paint strippers.
  • Wood preservatives.
  • Glues.
  • Garden chemicals.
  • Pesticides.
  • Fertilisers.
  • Petrol, oil and other vehicle products.
  • Toilet and drain cleaners.
  • Kitchen and oven cleaners.
  • Pool chemicals.
  • Bleach and disinfectants.
  • Batteries.
  • Furniture and shoe polish.
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover.

Why are these products hazardous?

They can harm people and the environment because they are:

  • Toxic (poisonous).
  • Flammable.
  • Corrosive or caustic (cause burns).
  • Chemically reactive.

If you have these chemicals in your home, they must be:

  • Stored properly.
  • Labelled accurately.
  • Disposed of safely.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Envirochoice logo

Do your bit for our environment

  • Buy environmentally friendly products - look out for the New Zealand Environmental Choice logo.
  • Only buy what you need and read the label first to avoid highly toxic products.
  • Share left-overs with neighbours, friends or community groups to ensure products are being used efficiently.
  • Find safe substitutes - this booklet will help you to do this and gives helpful hints on easy alternatives to using chemicals!

Safe storage

  • Store in a dry place, away from heat or flames.
  • Keep product in original container.
  • Re-label if necessary.
  • Keep tightly closed.
  • Keep out of reach of children.

Safe use

  • Always follow directions on the package.
  • Use all the product if possible but do not use more than recommended by the
  • Do not mix products.

Safe disposal

  • Never pour chemicals down the sink, stormwater drain or onto the ground.
  • Do not put hazardous materials out with your household rubbish.
  • Reuse or recycle where possible.
  • Take unwanted hazardous chemicals to a household hazardous waste drop-off