Today a pallet turned up at the place I work. It was addressed to us, but no sender address or name of the sender was shown. No indication of contents. No delivery note to give a clue.

So I cut the strapping and took the lid off. The pallet box was full of polystyrene chips. 10 minutes and a lot of shovelling later, I found 3 boxes full of aerial flares and distress rockets.

These things are classified as Class 1 explosives. They are not particularly dangerous as long as you don’t activate them or set fire to them. Do that an all hell breaks lose.

These items should never have been sent in the packaging they were sent nor without the appropriate hazard markings. I have reported the offending company to the relevant authorities and informed the transport company who, quite innocently brought them to me, of what has happened and the stupidity of the sender, who should have known far better.

The results of this stupidity will now drag on for a year or so until it reaches it’s final conclusion, hopefully with a hefty fine for the sender to remind them not to do it again or perhaps the withdrawal of their authority to handle such goods.

I mention all the above to because it occurred to me that there are a lot of things being delivered and handled every day in homes and business premises which have the potential to cause untold harm to you.

Take a look under the kitchen sink or the store room cupboard or wherever you store your cleaning materials. Have a read at the labels on all those bottles and sprays. I bet it’s the first time you have.

Do you see a back cross on the bottle? That means Irritant. It’s corrosive to a greater or lesser extent so don’t get it on your hands or in your eyes.

Is there picture of a little red (or black) flame? That means inflamalbe liquid or gas. Have a look for the heading ”flash point” and a number of degrees. Bet you don’t find it. Without that little piece of information you have no idea how dangerous that item really is. So don’t chuck anything like that on a bonfire.

Got any batteries in the house? Do you know what type they are? Bet you don’t.
Got a laptop or a mobile phone? They have batteries and they will be Lithium batteries. Very nasty things if you manage to crack the casing and they leak. Oh, and youy;re not supposed to throw them in the normal rubbish you know. Not any battery.

I could go on and on and terrify the living daylights out of you, but that is not my intent.

All I’m saying is that when you pick something up off a supermarket shelf have a look at the label. Almost everything you can buy there is safe, but only if you read the label and take the appropriate precautions.

So be careful my friends and remember. ALWAYS read the labels.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. pollie

    actually i read all the lables on everything!! I know exactly what you are talkin about and when I read these things it scares me to death!!!!

  2. grandmaj

    Good post Way. Some people are very relaxed about dangers that could happen. I remember while working as coordinator at a hospital. I had to tell orderlies over and over and over again how dangerous it was when they put the oxygen bottles on the patients bed while they transported the patients to other areas in the hospital. There is an oxygen holder on all machines that moves the beds. I have shown them videos of what happens if an oxygen bottle would fall on the ground from a bed. Shrug thier shoulders and then see them two days later. A few have been sacked after being warned three times not to do it. If they want to kill or injure themselves go right ahead but they were in charge of a patient!!!

  3. shadow

    Very interesting article Way. I have been quilty of never looking at lables in the past. I had cause to regret that, now i look at everthing, and i mean everything!.

  4. waylander Post author

    If it’s a liquid cathode battery, and the powerful ones like for a laptop are, lithium may leak out. Litium is highly toxic.

  5. johnpw

    Excellent article Way…

    All batteries are toxic so dispose of them carefully. Check with you local council where the nearest disposal unit is. Some shops have this facility.

  6. jojo

    Thanks for this article Way – you’re right, I had no idea that so many day to day household products are potentially lethal.

    Hugs, Jo