Recycling certainly helps protect the environment, and certainly can provide a supplemental income. However, beyond these more obvious of costs is a hidden agenda – many household items that are simply hanging around actually contain hazard and toxic chemicals that could be hurting your family.
Acids - Acids can be found in your household cleaning products, including the chemicals you use to clean your home’s backsplashes, hot tub, showers and soaking tubs, flooring and pool. Products claiming to have a 0- 5 pH balance are highly corrosive. If leaking or sitting unused, remove these items immediately.
Batteries - Chemicals found in batteries are highly toxic and corrosive. They contain lead, cadmium and mercury, which are hazardous to your health.
Chlorofluorocarbons - Chemicals, such as Freon, Isotron and Genetron are present in most households. They are present in bottle sprays, air-conditioning units, and refrigerators to name a few. When exposed, these chemicals pose a threat to the environment and human and animal health as well.
Cadmium - This chemical can be found in paint, batteries and miscellaneous electronic items. They are hazardous to human health, and thus need proper disposal when exposed.
Lead - Materials containing lead are toxic, and potentially poisonous particularly if inhaled. Older homes in particular are known to have lead in paint and old pipes. When working on your home renovations, make sure to seek out lead testing and treatment if your home tests positive.
Mercury - Mercury is a liquid metal substance that is also poisonous when ingested. Shaped like a small, round button, it can be found in batteries, watches, hearing aids and other gadgets. Freely-exposed mercury quickly evaporates and sets the stage for a toxic localized atmosphere. . It will poison the human body and attack cells. At room temperature, mercury is fluid and volatile.
Petroleum Distillates - These are produced by refining crude oil newly-purposed as hydrocarbons. They are in existence in items such as lipsticks, fertilizers and other kinds of fuels.
Polyurethane – Home and office furniture with foam have polyurethane. This is extremely flammable and should be handled carefully and disposed of quickly and efficiently.
Solvents - Chemicals that have the capacity to dissolve other types of substance are called solvents. Alcohol, methanol, thinner (for paints), acetone, paints and home cleaners are solvents.
Though not entirely exhaustive, the list above details many of the chemicals found through out the home that are toxic and should thus be properly and safely recycled. The next time you find yourself tossing out cleaners, paints, sprays, electronics and even certain types of furniture, think twice and consider if you’re making the best decision possible.