Create a Green and Healthy Home (cont.)

Create a green and healthy home: Household hazardous waste

Inside nearly every household's garage, basement or kitchen sink cupboard lurks harmful substances like old paint cans, used motor oil, garden pesticides and weed killers, used batteries, old computers or electronics, harsh cleaning chemicals, or pest killers. If you dump this noxious stuff down the drain, you'll pollute the water supply. And if you dispose of it in landfills, they'll leak dangerous chemicals. Instead, do some research to find the best way to dispose of your household toxics. Some cities or counties have monthly or annual pickups. Others have special drop-off sites. Call your local government to learn more.

SOURCES: Philip Landrigan, MD, professor and chair, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. Gina Solomon, MD, PhD, senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council; associate clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco. NRDC: "NRDC's Guide to Greener Living." Yarrow, J. 1,001 Ways to Save the Earth, Chronicle Books, 2007. U.S. Department of Energy: "A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality." EPA: "Do's and Don'ts Around the Home." EPA: "Household Hazardous Waste."

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Last Editorial Review: 5/22/2008