How to Identify Hazardous Materials
Many household items such as plastics, paints, batteries, metallic appliances, pharmaceutical products, and petroleum products, contain chemicals directly or indirectly. When products containing these chemicals are disposed improperly it creates environmental pollution. Some of these chemicals leak into the environment and people, animals and plants, get expose to them. These hazardous materials can cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutation, physiological malfunctions and physical deformations. Therefore, learning to identify hazardous materials and how and where to dispose them is important for prevention.
If you ever see or pass-by an illegal dumping, DO NOT touch it and AVOID exposure to gases or liquids coming from the dumped materials. These could be signals of hazardous materials.
Waste materials could be hazardous if one or more of the following occurs:
- It has unpleasant odors
- It produces burning or tearing eyes
- It is leaking oils, fluids and/or gases
- Container and/or labels indicate the materials are dangerous, flammable or combustible, toxic, hazard, radioactive, etc.
- Container is rusted.
However, not all hazardous materials emits gases or leak fluids from them. Therefore, as golden rule, NEVER remove, touch or get too close to the waste materials.