Buying chemicals

Before buying chemicals, it is important to find a reliable retailer or manufacturer. If you go online, you can find a variety of high quality chemicals for sale on If there is more than 1 product that is suitable for the job, always choose the most harmless product. Use a warning on the label as a guide to help you decide.

All of the information you need to know about the dangers and safe use of chemicals is found on the label. Always make sure you read the label carefully and ask someone if you don't understand the information. You can request a product retailer, your local pharmacist, or a local government environmental health worker to help you.

Products that contain chemicals have labels that classify the level of their toxicity. By law, this information must be in large bold letters as a signal heading on the front of the label.

Using chemicals

If you use chemicals exactly as directed on the product label – you use chemicals safely. All products containing chemicals must be used carefully. It is important that you are ready. Before you start using chemicals, make sure you read and understand the instructions on the label.

Follow any safety directions carefully. For example:

  • Avoid breathing in vapors when spraying a pesticide or when applying a sealant.
  • Wear rubber gloves and eye goggles to prevent chemicals from coming into contact with your skin or eyes, especially when handling corrosive chemicals such as spirits or hydrochloric acid.

Some labels will include items that you must have if an emergency occurs. It will be listed under 'Security Direction' and 'First Aid Instructions' – Make sure you have it before you start.