Guidelines for Buying and Using Hazardous Products

Use up what you currently have for the product's intended use and/or properly dispose of what you have left. Choose a less toxic alternative next time (see our "Guide to Household Hazardous Products" page). If one is not available, follow these guidelines to protect your health and the environment.


  • Carefully read the directions and/or health warnings on the label before you buy the product.
  • Avoid buying a different product for every kind of dirt or cleaning problem. One or a few general household cleaners can effectively clean a multitude of surfaces.
  • Buy only the amount you need for a specific project. Prevent disposal problems by buying products in smaller quantities.
  • As a consumer, you can write and request that the manufacturers produce products what work and are less toxic.
  • Choose products with child-resistant packages.


  • Keep all hazardous products in their original containers. Periodically check containers for deterioration. If an original container is leaking, enclose it in a larger container that is clearly marked. Never put hazardous products in food or beverage containers. Children may mistake them for food.
  • Store hazardous materials in a cool, dry place that is away from all food and inaccessible to children or pets.
  • Do not store incompatible products together. Dangerous fires, explosions or toxic chemical reactions could occur. Flammables should never be stored with corrosives. Toxics or poisons should always be kept away from other hazardous products.


  • Always read and follow label directions carefully. Use only the proper and indicated amount. Twice as much does not mean twice as good.
  • Never mix chemical products or cleaners. Explosivie or toxic chemical reactions may occur. For example, products containing ammonia and those with chlorine will produce deadly chloramine gas when mixed together.
  • Avoid splashing, wear protective clothing, use safety glasses if possible, and always wear gloves. Use in well-ventilated areas and take frequent air breaks.
  • Children and expectant mothers should restrict or eliminate exposure to hazardous products. Children and developing fetuses are much more sensitive to chemicals than adults.
  • Keep the number of the Poison Control Centre, 1-866-454-1212, visible and posted near the phone in case of emergencies. For more serious situations, you can reach the Poison Control Centre by dialing 911.


  • While Saskatoon has had frequent (at least monthly) collection events for the last several years, residents from most other communities have had little or no option for handling hazardous wastes. Check with your municipal office to see if an event is planned for your area.
  • Reuse by donating unused or partially used products in their original containers to local community groups, schools, businesses, or to others who may use them.
  • Do not throw a container from a hazardous product into the garbage unless it is completely empty.
  • Read and follow label directions and/or the table above for the safe and proper disposal methods of products.