Hazardous Materials Week


MASON CITY, Iowa – They’re used in a variety of ways, but experts hope we can gain more awareness of these chemicals during Hazardous Materials Week.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are recognizing this week in January to bring awareness to chemicals we often take for granted.

By providing awareness, experts say they hope others can learn proper use, storage and disposal of these hazardous materials.

“I can go into anybody’s home, into every single room of their home and find a hazardous material. So we want people to be aware of what they have, how to use them and also aware that in the raw form they are transported up and down the highways and on the railroads,” said Steve O’Neil, Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Some things you can do to ensure your family’s safe:

-Store all household products according to the instructions on the label.

-Keep chemicals and medication out of reach of children.

-Never mix household chemicals together. They may react, ignite or explode.

-Read the instruction on how to dispose of chemicals properly. If possible, recycle or reuse leftover hazardous materials.

If you’re not sure how to safely store, or where to dispose specific materials, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ website at http://www.safesmartsolutions.org.

“They will come in contact with them every single day and for the most part they’re very safe. As I say, we eat chemicals, we wear chemicals, but there are times where they can be dangerous, if there should be an accident,” said O’Neil.

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