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Video depicts safe use of household chemicals

November 11, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Those household cleaning products stored under the sink may seem innocuous but they can be harmful if ingested or combined with other products.

To help people avoid chemical accidents, the Washington County Local Emergency Planning Committee has produced a video, "Chemicals in Your Home," which demonstrates the safe use, storage and disposal of common chemicals.

The video focuses on chemicals typically found in homes and garages such as bleach, paint thinner or lye, John Bentley, Emergency Planning Committee co-chairman, said.

"It's worth their time to take 10 minutes to watch it. And I hope it triggers the thought of safety," he said.

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When mixed or used in an inappropriate manner, some chemicals can give off toxic fumes or turn into a corrosive material that will eat away at the skin, Bentley said.

The video stresses the importance of keeping household cleaners out of the reach of children, warning that ingesting chemicals even in a diluted form can be harmful and even fatal, he said.

Chemicals also can be dangerous if used in an area where ventilation is poor, according to Bentley.

The video also points out the importance of reading warning labels on bottles to help prevent accidents.

The 10-minute video will be available in December at area libraries and by contacting the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

Bentley shot most of the video footage himself using Washington County locations, he said. It was funded by a $20,750 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Chemicals In Your Home" is the second video produced by the Emergency Planning Committee and financed by the EPA grant.

The video "You Have the Right To Know," was released in 1997.

That 10 minute video details the public's right to know the content levels of chemicals used in plants, describes the function of the Emergency Planning Committee and the status of emergency services in Washington County. It is available at area libraries and from the Fire and Rescue Association.

The Emergency Planning Commission also used the EPA grant money for such thing as the purchase of a video slide projector and a media campaign.

The Commission's website is www.washcolepc.org.

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