Biohazard Level 4

Biohazard level 4

Something that is toxic can harm or kill. Something that is only mildly toxic may only be an irritant, while something that is strongly toxic could kill rapidly or slowly, depending on the kind of toxin.

A "toxin" is something that is toxic. "Toxicity" is a measure of how toxic or poisonous something is. A substance that is toxic to one resident in a home, may not have the same effect on another. For example, chocolate can kill a dog, but most people (except those allergic to it) can safely eat chocolate.

Many household cleaners, some maintenance materials (like paint or varnish), and some hobby supplies (for instance, glue) are toxic.

Generally, to make a home safer, it's a good idea to remove the toxic contents that are not needed, and to store the ones you need safely. Lock items where children and pets cannot access them.

Be aware of which things are toxic. Somethings can be more dangerous in combination. For instance, bleach and ammonia are both toxic, but useful when used carefully. However, when combined (or cleaners containing each are combined), they can create several very dangerous and potentially deadly compounds, including chlorine gas (harmful when breathed), nitrogen trichloride and hydrazine (potentially explosive with other, bad, potential effects too).

Medicine is another common household item, which is necessary and usually beneficial to the people who are supposed to take it, that can be dangerous.

Other sources of toxins include plastics and many furniture finishes. If possible let these "air" outdoors before bringing them inside where they can contribute to indoor pollution.


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