Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Chemicals and pesticides

Household use and disposal of chemicals

Many everyday household products and materials contain a diverse range of chemicals, including some which pose a threat to health and the environment. Domestic products containing chemicals include paints; cleaning agents, such as detergents; varnishes; cosmetics; weed killers; insecticides; baits; and wood, pool and pet treatments.

Information on using these chemical-based products safely and responsibly, including finding alternatives to them, is available from a range of government and non-government organisations listed below.

Please note: The Environment Protection Authority does not endorse in any way, or make any representations in relation to, any information, products or companies named or listed in the following websites or publications. You should make your own inquiries.

Safe and responsible use of chemicals

Safer Solutions website: Information on actions you can take to keep your family safe and healthy in the home, developed in partnership between the Total Environment Centre and the Office of Environment and Heritage as part of an educational initiative funded by the NSW Environmental Trust under the Our Environment It's a Living Thing program.

Controlling pests around the home: The US Environmental Protection Agency presents "dos and don'ts" for parents and teachers about safe domestic pest control.

Household chemical safety: Tips for safe chemical storage and use in the home from Fire and Rescue NSW.

Prevention of poisoning: Things to be aware of with regards to chemicals and medication in the home and how to minimise the risk of poisoning.

Hazardous household waste: Details of the Household Chemicals CleanOut program with information on dates, venues and materials that can be collected and tips on how to safely transport the chemicals.

Alternatives to chemicals

Sustainable Cleaning: Sustainability resources including a guide to Green Cleaning from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Recycling and waste: Information on recycling and waste, including organic waste collection and recycling from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Chemicals and health in the home: WWF's room-by-room guide for minimising our everyday exposure to hazardous chemicals. Includes simple tips on what products and materials to avoid or buy, and what to change in each room to create a healthy home environment.

Alternatives to chemicals: ZeroWaste SA provide a guide on safer alternatives to chemicals for each area of your house.

Chemicals and home renovation

Safer Solutions website: Information on actions you can take to keep your family safe and healthy in the home, developed in partnership between the Total Environment Centre and OEH as part of an educational initiative funded by the NSW Environmental Trust under the Our Environment It's a Living Thing program.

Renovating your home: Office of Environment and Heritage provide a Home Renovators Guide to creating environmentally sustainable homes.

DYI Safely: Some of the hazardous materials that may be encountered in DYI home renovations (lead, asbestos, treated timber, volatile organic compounds), risks and precautions.

Building and Industry Hazards: NSW Health portal to a number of areas of environmental health including DIY Safe (home renovation), Chemicals and Asbestos.

Chemicals and the garden

Sustainable gardening: TheEasy Guide to Sustainable Gardening from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Safer Solutions website: Information on actions you can take to keep your family safe and healthy in the home, developed in partnership between the Total Environment Centre and OEH as part of an educational initiative funded by the NSW Environmental Trust under the Our Environment It's a Living Thing program.

Organic Pest Control in the Garden: ZeroWaste SA provide a guide on safer, effective and thrifty solutions to garden problems.

Disposing of chemicals

Household chemical collection: Details of the Household Chemical CleanOut program with information on dates, venues and materials that can be collected and tips on how to safely transport the chemicals.

Community recycling centres are drop-off centres for household chemicals and problem wastes that can't be collected via council kerbside waste and recycling collection services.

Recycling and waste: Information on recycling and waste, including organic waste collection and recycling from the Office of Environment and Heritage.

Recycling Near You: Search for places to recycle chemicals and paints near you.

National chemicals regulators

National Chemicals Management: Information on the national chemical management schemes, and who regulates what.

Chemicals in consumer products: An overview of what role the ACCC and state and territory consumer product safety regulators play.

National Chemicals Information Gateway and Reference Guide

National Chemical Information Gateway: For more information about chemicals, this gateway provides anyone interested in chemicals, including pesticides, with a quick and easy way to find out more.  

National Chemical Reference Guide: This guide contains data on environmental standards and guidelines in Australia for over 600 chemicals, and includes environmental criteria for chemicals in the air, water, soil, sediment and biota.

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Page last updated: 19 May 2016