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Science 

Hazardous Household Chemicals

Is your house safe? It may not be as safe as you think. Gallons of harmful chemicals may be lurking in your home, within easy reach of children and pets. Any cleaner or chemical product with a warning such as CAUTION or DANGER can pose a threat to your safety and the health of the environment. Be sure to check the label of any chemical before you buy it to assess the potential risks. Drain cleaners, automotive chemicals, yard chemicals and paint products can be especially hazardous. If in doubt, look for the U.S. EPA Design for the Environment seal. Products with this seal have been designed to be safer for the environment and your family.

Be sure to store your chemicals according to the instructions on the label.  Avoid storing your chemicals under the kitchen sink because this places them within easy reach of children and pets.  If you have unused chemicals, never pour them down the drain or into a storm sewer, and do not throw them in the trash. This can damage your plumbing, pollute groundwater and harm the health of anybody who comes into contact with the by-products.  

Recycling your hazardous chemicals can make your home more environmentally friendly and remove potential dangers from your household. There are several places in Springfield that can help you with proper disposal. The Household Chemical Collection Center is a free service that safely disposes your chemicals for you, but you do need to make an appointment by calling them at 417-864-2000.  You can also recycle your used motor oil at AutoZone and Wal-Mart.

If you would like more information on how to make greener, safer choices for your household, then check out these library books: 

The toxic consumer : living healthy in a hazardous world by Karen Ashton and Elizabeth Salter Green

Smart mama's green guide : simple steps to reduce your child's toxic chemical exposure by Jennifer Taggart
 
Green housekeeping : in which the nontoxic avenger shows you how to improve your health and that of your family while you save time, money, and, perhaps, your sanity written and illustrated by Ellen Sandbeck
 

Or check out these helpful links:
 
Household Chemical Collection Center

EPA Design for the Environment
 
EPA Household Hazardous Waste
 
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Resources Household Products Database
 
University of Missouri Household Hazardous Products

 


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