Chemicals in the home

How to safely use, store, and dispose of dangerous household chemicals, and the hazardous substances like asbestos you may encounter during home renovations.

plastic chemical bottles

In most cases, it is possible to

  • reduce overall use of chemicals
  • switch to products that are less hazardous


Sometimes there is no alternative to using hazardous chemicals. In these situations it is important to know what preventative steps to take to minimise harmful exposure. 

This page provides links to that provide information on using chemical-based products safely and responsibly.

Note that the EPA 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.

Domestic products containing chemicals include

  • paints and varnishes
  • cleaning agents (such as detergents)
  • cosmetics and hygiene products
  • weed killers, insecticides and baits
  • wood, pool and pet treatments

There are many changes you can make in your everyday life to avoid health and environmental risks.

  • Household chemical safety: Tips for safe chemical storage and use from Fire and Rescue NSW.
  • Prevention of poisoning: Things to be aware of with regard to household chemicals and medications and how to minimise the risk of poisoning.
  • Hazardous household waste: Details for the Household Chemical CleanOut program including dates, venues, what materials can be collected, and tips on how to transport the chemicals safely.

Pest control

When renovating your home, you can choose safer and more sustainable products for new work. You may encounter older building materials such as asbestos and lead paints, which can be harmful to your health. Taking precautions will help lower the risk of exposure.

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