Hazardous Materials in the Home
10 Most Common
Household Hazardous Materials
The most obscure hazard on this list, radioactive isotopes can be found in ionization-type smoke detectors and fluorescent lamps. They emit the threatening radioactive particles as they decay, and prolonged exposure can lead to cancer, radiation poisoning and other illnesses. Floor tiles and some forms of granite building materials sometimes contain radioactive materials and can be released under certain conditions.
Radon gas is a by-product of radioactive decay of certain naturally occurring radioactive materials. It is typically found in soil, hard rocks and other naturally occurring materials. Routes of entry include open basements, unsealed sumps and cracks in structure foundations.
5 Less Common
Household Hazardous Substances
A type of insulation that was widely used in the 1970’s for insulating and retrofitting industrial, commercial and older residential buildings. Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) is a low-density foam that has the appearance and consistency of shaving cream, and becomes stiff and self supporting when it dries or cures/hardens.
The insulation is typically made on-site where the urea formaldehyde-based resin is mixed with a catalyst and water and foamed in place in walls or used for block fill. The foam can be forced through small openings and delivered to the entire area of any cavity before it cures.
UFFI has been prohibited from advertising, sale or importation into Canada under item 34, Part I of Schedule I to the Hazardous Products Act since December 1980. The prohibition includes all urea formaldehyde-based thermal insulation, foamed in place, used to insulate buildings. This includes melamine urea and other urea formaldehyde resins.