Many commercial cleaners contain substances that are toxic and can burn skin or eyes on contact. Without proper ventilation, their use can also cause injury from harmful fumes. According to the Poison Control Center, in 1997 there were approximately 230,000 over exposures nationwide to household cleaners of which seven were fatal.
Thoughtless disposal of hazardous products can have harmful impacts on people and the environment. Disposal in trash, or pouring them down the drain, can disrupt wastewater systems, seriously injure waste handlers, and contaminate drinking water.