Skip to content

Question of the Week: Where do you store your pesticides and other household chemicals?

2010 March 15

March 14-20 is Poison Prevention Week. In households with children under the age of five, close to half store at least one pesticide product within reach of a child. Moreover, nearly 75 percent of households with no children under the age of five store pesticides product in an unlocked cabinet within a child’s reach. To help protect children from the dangers, install safety latches and lock up pesticides and household chemicals well out of children’s reach – preferably in a high cabinet. Make a room-by-room inspection of your home to be sure all products for rats, mice, cockroaches, or anything else with harmful chemicals such as bleach and other cleaning products are safely stored. Share your thoughts on how you safely store household chemicals.

Where do you store your pesticides and other household chemicals?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Jackenson Durand permalink
    March 15, 2010

    I have been always keeping my pesticides chemicals in safe areas however; others utilities home hygienic chemicals like, laundry supplies are visible because of my status with no children living in house.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    March 15, 2010

    I have no children under five age, but in my home have some rats, lizard and cockroaches and they don’t like pesticide product. We always try to kill them but not success.

  3. Charles permalink
    March 15, 2010

    I don’t have kids and other people’s kids don’t come to my house. Not only don’t I lock anything up, it’s scattered all over. Maybe I should at least know where everything is…

  4. djmoloy permalink
    March 15, 2010

    I highly encourage using latches to keep children out of cabinets that dangerous chemicals are being stored in. Though I do not have any children of my own, my mom used to teach pre-school. A few years ago one of her students ingested a poisonous substance at her home after school. The student was seriously ill and had to be hospitalized for over a week. When asked how the child was able to access the chemical, the parents stated that they didn’t properly lock up the substance. Not only do I think that dangerous chemicals should be locked up, but labeled with the green “yuck” faces too. This will offer children a universal signal of substances that they should avoid.

  5. Al Bannet permalink
    March 16, 2010

    I never purchase any such chemicals. Once a month the “bug man” comes and deposits a cream that is lethal to insects but harmless to humans. I use a citrus based disinfectant and a non-chlorine bleach. There is simply no need for toxic chemicals in the house because harmless alternatives are available.

  6. David Mc permalink
    March 16, 2010

    what ever happened to the skull and crossbones?

  7. Charles permalink
    March 16, 2010

    @Al Bannet – sometime you should ask the bug man to show you label on the pesticide “cream” container. Write down the brand name and the ACTIVE INGREDIENT(s), then go look them up on the EPA Web site. One hopes you won’t be surprised.

    If he is using a container with no label, you should be suspicious and maybe stop using him. And you probably should report this… BY LAW pesticide containers must be labeled, the user must follow the label directions, and contents should not be transferred to unmarked containers.

  8. Linda permalink
    March 16, 2010

    We have no kids to worry about, but I do make sure the few possibly toxic products I use are put safely out of reach of our pets. Also, I use eco-friendly products when and where I can. Baking soda is a great substitute for scouring powder, for instance.

  9. Al Bannet permalink
    March 16, 2010

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll ask those questions next time he arrives.

  10. D.T.WHS permalink
    March 16, 2010

    well me and my family store our pesticides and other household products under the restroom and kitchen sink.None of my family members are under 5 yrs so we dont have child safety locks on our cabinets.

  11. G.M. WHS permalink
    March 16, 2010

    Were my family keeps the pesticals and other toxic products in the household would be under our kitchen sink in one of the cabinets were its locked away from my nephew.

  12. W.E. permalink
    March 16, 2010

    None of my family members is under five years old so we do not have child safety locks in our cabinets but we are aware that pesticides and other household chemicals can be dangerous, we store them under the kitchen or bathroom sink.

  13. lisa@wedin.org permalink
    March 16, 2010

    Pesticides and bleach are kept high or locked but I should probably double check the other stuff. Since I don’t do childcare and my children are older I have slacked off a bit.

  14. Dr. Tai permalink
    March 17, 2010

    Use common sense. All hazardous chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides should be kept outside of the living quarters in the house or locked. Old and unused cans should be disposed of properly. These chemicals are poisons.

  15. steve permalink
    March 19, 2010

    I agree with Dr Tai

  16. Raleigh Home Inspector permalink
    July 31, 2010

    As a veteran Home Inspector in Raleigh, North Carolina, I cannot tell you how often I find chemicals and pesticides stored in horrendously poor locations…..out on open shelves, in unlocked/unsecured cabinets, or just placed about on the floor e.g. in the garage.

    Dr. Tai is most correct…..a little common sense goes a very long way when trying to figure out how best to protect other people….and mostly the little humans…..and pets…..and ourselves…from toxic chemical and such.

    Dependent on the age of any children that might be in the home, locked cabinets are a must…… Education of all those that reside in the home , as with many other things, is one key to a successful prevention plan.

    Gary Gentry

  17. DarinR permalink
    December 24, 2010

    On a recent home inspection in San Diego I found a load of pesticides in a backyard shed. Worse than that, there were several unlabeled containers with chemicals in them and these materials were unsecured. Gary is correct here, a little common sense in securing these toxic substances can go a long way.

    Thanks for the read.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS