King County’s Spanish-speaking families focus of Household product safety outreach

Advice, resources available so parents can protect their families, the environment

King County’s Spanish-speaking residents can learn how to protect themselves and their children with information about safe household product use in four new videos produced by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program.

“Too many people have stories about mixing chemicals or accidents with their kids, and it is so easy to make our homes safer,” said Mauricio Martinez, Customer Service Assistant for the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. “We are happy that the community is getting this helpful information.”

Children are easily exposed to products used around the home. They crawl and play in places where adults usually aren’t, and explore by putting things in their mouths. Because of their smaller size, any exposure to chemicals is much greater on children than on an adult – and exposure to some chemicals can have lifelong effects.

In the ads, Laura barely avoids accidents with household products that could harm her or her son, Carlitos. Laura’s friend Rosy explains safe ways to use household products – especially around children.

“Many of us learned how to clean a house or use household chemicals from our parents,” said Martha Sanchez, Latino Northwest Communications film producer who worked on the ads. “I was shocked to find out that many of the products I use – or how I am using them – may not be safe around my daughter.

“Producing these spots reminded me of the time I accidentally mixed two cleaners that had ammonia and chlorine and gassed myself,” Sanchez said.  “It was scary. I got lightheaded and woozy. I did not know that mixing products could be dangerous.”

View the videos at:

Keeping your family safe is easier with these tips:

  • Store and use products away from children. Kids can accidentally get into these products and they can look and smell like food.
  • Do not mix products, especially those with chlorine and ammonia, which can make a toxic gas. Ingredients are not always obvious on the label.
  • Products that say “caution,” “warning,” “danger” or “poison” on the label are hazardous. The safest products are those that that don’t have those words on the label or that only say “caution.”
  • Use inexpensive products such as baking soda and vinegar that are effective and less harmful for green cleaning.
  • Take unwanted products to one of the disposal facilities such as the Wastemobile at the Auburn SuperMall. Safe disposal is free – just drive up and an attendant will take the products out of your car or trunk. Info at www.lhwmp.org/home/HHW/disposal-locations.aspx#auburn

For information on green cleaning, call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692, toll free at 1-888-869-4233.  Interpreters are available.

The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program is a partnership of local governments including Seattle, King County, the suburban and other cities in King County, working together to manage hazardous wastes and protect health and the environment. Visit us at www.lhwmp.org.

Download King County’s Spanish-speaking families focus of Household product safety outreach – News Release