Dangerous chemicals in your home

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 6:00 PM

PHOENIX -- Some of the chemicals that contributed to the massive explosion at the Texas fertilizer plant are fairly common. In fact, you may have them in your home and not even realize it. 

The city of Phoenix is offering you the opportunity to dispose of those dangerous chemicals this week.

“All our customers can bring in their household products stored at home under the kitchen sink and in the garage,” said Albert Alvarez with the City of Phoenix.

The city hosts the Household Hazardous Waste event several times a year, providing residents a safe place to recycle electronics and properly dispose of dangerous materials.

“I brought two computers and four or five small jars of paint samples,” said Phoenix resident James Byrne.

He knows it is safer to drop that stuff off at the event rather than trash it or store it at home. 

“Yes I am careful about that and I am worried about a fire," added Byrne.

As well you should be.

“Chemicals in general are dangerous,” said Phoenix Fire Captain Tony Mure. “In their proper containers when sold they are perfectly safe but over time those containers break down.”

Especially in this Arizona heat, and if the containers break down the chemicals may leak and inadvertently mix with one another, igniting a fire.

“You don't see homes in Phoenix blow up every summer because bags of fertilizer bought at a hardware store, but you should take care of it properly,” said Mure.

Phoenix Fire suggests never stacking chemicals and ideally never storing them.  They say only buy what you will use.

“Be a good responsible citizen and a good neighbor, never have too many chemicals in your house,” aid Mure.

The city of Phoenix is hosting the Household Hazardous Waste event Friday and Saturday from 8 to 12 at the Phoenix Municipal Stadium parking lot.

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