April is hazardous materials safety month here in Illinois, so all month long we will be making posts regarding what you should know about hazardous materials and how you can stay safe. A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, radiological, or physical) that has the ability to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment.

To kick off the month, let’s cover some fast facts about hazardous materials.

  • There are over 8,600 active Tier II chemical facilities throughout Illinois.
    • A Tier II chemical facility is one that stores or handles more than 10,000 pounds of hazardous chemicals at any one time. 
  • Some common household goods are considered to be hazardous materials/hazardous waste.
    • These include cleaning sprays, aerosol sprays, pesticides, antiseptics, disinfectants, and more. For a more comprehensive list, visit this link.
  • Hazardous materials must be disposed of differently than regular waste to minimize the risk of water or soil contamination.
    • Some examples of proper disposal can include dropping off motor oil at automotive shops, recycling alkaline and rechargeable batteries, and disposing of prescription drugs properly. We will go more into hazmat disposal in a later post!