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Public health

Use and storage of chemicals

It is surprising how many potentially hazardous chemicals we keep in the home. These includes cleaning materials, paints and varnishes, pesticides, batteries, inks and all sorts of materials hidden away in cupboards, sheds and garages.

Dealing with waste

The safest way of dealing with this type of waste is preferably not to buy it in the first place however this is not always practical as generally we all need to use these substances at some time. The first action should be to get rid of any chemicals you no longer need and any that are unidentified. Unfortunately many of these, such as asbestos, pesticides, chemicals and other toxic substances and poisons,  can not be taken to the Essex County Council recycling centres as they are classed as hazardous. It is also illegal to dispose of garden chemicals and pesticides down drains, sinks and toilets as this can harm the environment. Essex County Council has provided Essex residents with safe disposal routes and you can get further information and advice from the ECC website or by contacting their Waste and Recycling Helpline on 0845 603 7625.

In recent years, several pesticide products have been withdrawn from sale. The Pesticides Safety Directorate provides information and advice on this issue and gives a full list of withdrawn products.