Why Does It Matter?

Spring is here!  Maybe you are finding yourself in a cleaning mood.  Stop!  Before you scrub that floor, wipe down those walls or dust the furniture, we want you to be aware of a few things.  This information is important for your health and the health of the environment.Many commercial cleaners contain hazardous materials that if improperly handled or disposed of can make you or your loved ones sick, be the source of accidental poisonings, or cause environmental damage to water, soil and air.

What Should You Do?

Deciphering the ingredients on most cleaning product labels is difficult.  But, we are going to make it easy on you.  Simply look at the label for “signal words”.  If you see the words “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” or “Poison,” you need to take special care in how you use, store and dispose of the product.The signal words indicate the level of hazard various products pose.  Always take the time to accurately read and follow all of a product’s instructions.· “Caution” – Most cleaners have a “Caution” label on them.  This is the lowest level of hazard.  Products with this label are often eye and skin irritants and should be used carefully.· “Warning”- A product with this label on it is more hazardous than one with a “Caution” label and can be harmful if swallowed.· “Danger” and “Poison” – These labels are usually seen together and are found on the most hazardous products.  These products are harmful or fatal if  ingested.  If you cannot avoid purchasing such products, please have a plan for their storage (preferably in a locked cabinet) and their eventual disposal (District-sponsored Tox-Away Days).

Dig Deeper.

Although knowledge is power, the best way to avoid the threats that hazardous cleaning products pose, is to avoid them altogether.  And, it’s easier than you might think.  There are some really effective non-toxic commercial products on the market as well as books and websites committed to teaching people how to make their own cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, Borax, lemons, or even tomatoes—wouldn’t Grandma be proud?There are recipes out there for laundry soap, general purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and much more.  Pick one and try it! 

Next Edition…Later this month, we’ll share more about how you can make the switch and begin using green cleaners at your house.  And, we’ll share one of our favorite green cleaning recipes with you.  Stay tuned!

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