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Many common household products such as cleaners and pesticides could harm children, pets, or the environment if not used and stored correctly. Simply reading a product's label will help you keep your family, pets and community safe. Reading the label can also save you money.
  • Labels tell you:
    • How to use the product safely and effectively.
    • How to store the product safely.
    • First aid instructions.
    • Phone numbers to call for help or more information.

  • Keep products in their original containers.
    • It is very dangerous to put products in food and beverage containers. Children think that something in a familiar juice or soda bottle is good to drink.
    • If you throw away the original container, you throw away important information needed in case of an emergency.
    • If there is an accident, you need information on the original label to help with treatment.
    • If the label tells you to mix a product in another container, use up all of the mixture. If you can't use all of it up, label the new container for future use.

  • Prevent harm to the environment.
    • Applying a product where it could run into ponds, creeks, or other water supplies can contaminate drinking water and kill fish and birds.
    • Applying the product according to label directions is necessary to prevent harm to the environment.
    • Never pour lawn and garden products down a drain.

  • Buy the right product for the job.
    • Read the label to make sure it's the right product for the job. Buying the right product the first time will save you money and frustration.

  • Buy the right amount for your needs.
    • Buy only what you need. If you buy too much for your needs, pass the product on to someone else who can use it. Some products might not be good if stored for long periods of time. The larger size might not be a good value if you can't use it all.

  • Use the right amount of product for the job.
    • Labels indicate the correct amount to use. Using more than what's recommended is not better–it just wastes the product and the money you've spent. In some cases, using more than the recommended amount can hurt people, pets, and the environment.

  • For potential poisonings, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Consumer Labeling Initiative