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Use Chemicals Safely!

2009 December 3

Hey Pick 5’ers, it’s time again for you to share what you’ve done and how you did it.  If you haven’t done it yet, Pick 5 for the Environment and then come back to comment. Today we cover action #7: Use Chemicals Safely! Please share your stories as comments below.

After reading more about chemicals, I realize the harm I was bringing to my home. Because my oven isn’t a self cleaning oven, I have to clean it myself. When cleaning my oven I was unaware of the danger of the chemicals. I always use a spray oven cleaner along with gloves. But what I never knew was how harmful it is for pets. It states on the can that pets should not to be in the area while the oven is being cleaned, and that pets should be removed from the area until the smoke and fumes dissipate. So now I no longer clean my oven with my pets around.

My experience with the oven cleaner has been an eye opener for me. I now read labels on products and make sure I use them properly. I also make sure that I store my cleaners, paints and pesticides where my kids can’t reach them. Learn more about using toxics and pesticides safely and about protecting your pets from pesticides and toxics .

Don’t hesitate to share your other Pick 5 tips on how you save water, commute without polluting , save electricity , reduce, reuse, recycle , test your home for radon and how do you check your local air quality.

Note: to ward off advertisers using our blog as a platform, we don’t allow specific product endorsements.  But feel free to suggest Web sites that review products, suggest types of products, and share your experiences using them!

About the author: Denise Owens has worked at EPA for over twenty years. She is currently working in the Office of Public Affairs in Washington, DC.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Kathleen permalink
    December 3, 2009

    In our home we use phosphate free detergents. Only cleaning product that we use is Distilled White Vinegar. The stuff is amazing and will clean anything and everything from soap scum to grease, from windows to floors. Safe for us, our pets and the environment.

  2. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    December 3, 2009

    I try to eliminate chemicals as much as possible. I have easy to clean wood floors, a Spanish tyle patio deck that is simple to keep clean without chemicals. I don’t use any insecticides or herbacides because I don,t have a lawn here at the condo but I do have tight fitting bug screens at all windows and patio door. My oven is self cleaning. The laundry soap I use is free of phosphates and perfumes. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    December 4, 2009

    folks. I’m the Storm water manager for a company in Grand Rapids, Michigan we
    have to use a sweeper daily for track out reasons and this sweeper uses
    water to aid in cleaning. My problem is I need an additive to keep
    water from freezing but cannot be harmful to the environment because it
    has the potential to reach my …storm drains. If anyone knows of such a product please let me know. Thank you.

  4. Al Bannet permalink
    December 4, 2009

    I stopped using a chlorine-based product to clean my bathroom and kitchen, and now use a citrus-based spray bottle produced by a popular brand name company. Is this OK? (I sure do wish somebody would invent an economical way to recycle plastic)

  5. Jackenson Durand permalink
    December 4, 2009

    For people who do not have strong vigilance, prudence or who never use those in daily life toward chemical usage safety in childrens areas especially by spreading the word the could probably one day visit EPA webs for any kind of life style changing .

  6. Jayant Hudar permalink
    January 28, 2010

    If the alternative methods previously mentioned
    do not provide adequate control, then the use of
    pesticides may be required. If pesticides are to
    be used, it is important to keep several things in
    1. Make sure the instructions on the pesticide
    package label of the pesticide you use has
    both the pest and the plant you are treating
    listed on it.
    2. Make applications at the proper time or times
    and at the proper rates.
    3. Obtain good plant coverage, especially for
    4. Use pesticides safely:
    A. Do not buy more than needed for the
    B. Keep materials in their own labeled containers.
    C. Keep materials locked and away from children,
    pets, and unauthorized people.
    D. Always read and follow label instructions.

  7. Teresa permalink
    March 20, 2010

    A tip for toilet cleaning, use Hydrogen Peroxide for the bowl itself, I can’t remember where I was reading it, but it’s less harmful to be flushed in our sewers, and I was amazed at how clean it got my bowl.

  8. L. Snickerman permalink
    July 29, 2010

    I have switched to using green clean products for cleaning kitchen counters, oven and the bathroom. I have found that the chemicals are not as harsh. I have been really pleased with how it has made my home feel. There are many go green products out today that it can be really easy to make a change!

    L. Snickerman

  9. bobby permalink
    February 9, 2011

    Thanks for reminding that we should use chemicals safely.

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