Within homes and places where people most frequently stay, people use products that are essential to keep their things and surroundings clean, safe, and to aid in their various household activities and hobbies. Among the consumer products used in such activities and hobbies are household/urban hazardous substances (HUHS) products which should be used safely and appropriately. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hereby issues this Advisory to provide information and safety reminders on the safe use and handling of HUHS products.
HUHS products are commonly used in our households and in places we work, play or do activities. Examples of HUHS products are cleaners, fresheners, deodorizers, some do-it-yourself and hobby items. These products are reasonably safe when used as directed. However, as consumers, it is important to understand that these products contain chemicals which could be harmful to families in homes or people in a community. The risk involved with these products usually comes from the deliberate or unintended improper use and inappropriate handling, storage, and disposal.
When using HUHS products, consumers are advised to keep in mind the following tips for the proper use of HUHS products to keep homes and places safe and healthy for communities, families, and especially children:
- Check, read, and understand the product label. It is important for consumers to only buy products that bear labels with clear and readable information, and in a language they can fully understand. The label contains important information such as the brand and product name, net content, batch/lot/item/stock keeping unit (SKU) number of the product, directions for use, hazard and safety information, handling, storage and disposal, and particulars of the company or marketing authorization holder, that will assist the user in properly using the HUHS product, as well as some precautionary statements on its risks.
- Make sure to follow recommended handling and storage conditions. Certain HUHS products need specific handling procedures and storage conditions to avoid injuries or accidents. A quality product label should contain this safety information to inform the consumers. As much as possible, keep HUHS products away from external factors such as heat, sunlight, and humidity, which can cause accidents and deterioration of the product, packaging, and label.
- Always keep chemical products away from the reach of children and pets. Toddlers and preschoolers are most likely to be exposed to chemicals when left without adult supervision. This is especially that children are naturally curious and exhibit their age specific-behaviors such as hand-to-mouth movements, mouthing or chewing items, and playing on the ground. Even pets can also be unintentionally exposed to the risks and harms of HUHS products. To ensure the safety of the children, pets, and the household, it is important to have a childproof system for the storage of chemicals, reasonable selection of HUHS products, and keen supervision at all times.
- Avoid mixing HUHS products with other chemicals. This may lead to more hazardous chemical mixture, or result in a less effective product due to altered properties. For example, mixing certain chemicals may result in the release of fumes or gases that may cause irritation to the user, or which may be flammable or explosive. Consumers may look for the precautionary statements and warnings written on the label about incompatibilities of the HUHS product.
- Avoid transferring HUHS products to other containers. The original containers were intended by manufacturers to ensure the product’s stability and quality. Transferring the product to an inappropriate container may affect its shelf-life and efficacy. It may also cause users to lose the label containing important handling, storage and disposal information to prevent accidents.
- In case of any adverse health effects, discontinue use and consult a doctor or physician. Consumers experiencing suspected adverse health effects associated with the use of HUHS products are advised to discontinue use and consult a doctor or physician. In case of suspected poisoning or accidental ingestion, contact the nearest Poison Control Center for immediate advice. A list of Poison Control Centers is attached to this Advisory. Further, adverse health effects from use of any HUHS products should be reported to the FDA, and the manufacturer or company through their customer service channels.
Poison Control Centers in the Philippines
In case of an emergency or accident related to the use and handling of household/urban hazardous substances, listed below are the Poison Control Centers to contact and/or consult:
- PGH – National Poison Management and Control Center, Metro Manila
- (02) 8524 1078
- East Avenue Medical Center, Quezon City
- (02) 8926 0611
- Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Baguio City
- (074) 661 7910
- Batangas Medical Center, Batangas City
- (043) 740 8307
- Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Tacloban City
- (0977) 346 0358 Globe
- (0928) 388 7722 Smart
- Southern Philippines Medical Center, Davao City
- (082) 227-2731, 221-7029
- Rizal Medical Center, Pasig City
- (02) 8865 8400
- Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, San Fernando City, Pampanga
- (045) 961 2444
- Bicol Medical Center, Naga City
- (054) 472 6125
- Western Visayas Sanitarium, Santa Barbara, Iloilo
- (033) 523 8455
- Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Medical Center, Bacolod City
- (034) 703 1350
- Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
- (032) 253 9891
- Northern Mindanao Medical Center
- (08822) 726362
- Zamboanga City Medical Center
- (062) 991 0573