1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 16, 2008

:351 Household Products Database

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:351 EcoTip: The National Institute of Health US Department of Health and Human Services has published a Household Products Database that provides information about the many health and safety hazards associated with household products. It can be found on the web at: http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm

household_masthead

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 Additional Information:

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August 12, 2008

:225 CCA Treated Wood

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:225 EcoTip: CCA stands for chromated copper arsenate. This is a very toxic arsenic containing compound that was used as a wood preservative beginning in the 1940s. By the 1970s it was the most common pressure treated wood preservative being used. This product was voluntarily removed from the market in December 2003.

That means there are a lot of CCA treated decks, play yards and other pressure treated wood uses that continue to leach into the environment and can cause exposure – especially to children that touch these materials then put their hands in their mouths.

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 Additional Information:

EPA provides additional information about CCA treated lumber and how to protect your family from it at http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregistration/cca/

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August 11, 2008

:224 Scented Laundry Products

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:224 EcoTip: A University of Washington study of common laundry products and air fresheners found all the tested products emitted at least one chemical that was regulated as toxic or hazardous but not listed on the label. Five out of six of the products had carcinogens.

The study was authored by Anne Steinemann, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs. She is quoted as saying:

Be careful if you buy products with fragrance, because you really don’t know what’s in them. I’d like to see better labeling. In the meantime, I’d recommend that instead of air fresheners people use ventilation, and with laundry products, choose fragrance-free versions. 

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 Additional Information:

More information about this study is posted on the University of Washington News site at:

http://uwnews.org/article.asp?articleID=42872

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June 23, 2008

:175 Nearby SuperFund Sites

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:175 EcoTip: Scorecard  provides one method for screening for toxic waste sites in your area. Enter your zip-code in their searchable data base for a list of hazard sites and their status. This is also helpful for double checking property disclosures when you are considering moving.

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Additional Information:

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June 22, 2008

:174 ScoreCard

Filed under: :174 ScoreCard — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:13 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:175 EcoTip: ScoreCard is a zip-code based searchable data base for various pollution sites in the United States. Go to Scorecard to see how your area is rated for chemical releases, superfund sites, water quality and many other factors. Over the next several days I will be providing some tips for using the ScoreCard for evaluating building sites.

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 Additional Information:

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March 26, 2008

:086 HazMat Disposal

Suggested Review – :029, :056

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:086 Tip: Every county in the U.S. is required to have a plan for household hazardous waste disposal. It may not cover every type of hazard, but most of them are addressed. So if you’ve decided to clean out that pile of unused – whatever, give your county a call first to find out what arrangements they have for disposing of it safely.

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Additional Information

Left over pesticides, herbicides, unused paints and sealants, cleaning products, auto maintenance materials and many other chemicals may be considered hazardous wastes. The label will generally tell you how they must be disposed, but not always. Appliances and electronics contain amazing amounts of hazardous waste materials. Each computer or television contains about 5 pounds of lead. Our appliances also frequently contain mercury switches or thermocouples. Some older fluorescent ballasts and appliances capacitors contain PCBs, fluorescent tubes have mercury, batteries may have lead, mercury and other toxic or hazardous chemicals.

Once you know what options your county has check in on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to get rid of and your zip code. They provide great information on how to recycle and dispose of just about every type of household hazardous waste product.

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March 19, 2008

:079 Car Antifreeze

art_action_sierra.jpg

Credit: Sierra Antifreeze

Suggested Review – none

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:079 Tip: Typical car antifreeze (ethylene glycol) can be extremely dangerous when consumed. As little as one teaspoon can be fatal to cats, and two tablespoons full is dangerous for children. Propylene glycol tastes sweet so some manufacturers are adding a bitter tasting compound to it to make it less palatable.

An alternative that is safer for the environment and considered non-toxic (although anything can be toxic if you consume enough) is propylene glycol. It is becoming widely available at auto supply stores.

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Additional Information

Sierra Antifreeze is one brand of propylene glycol antifreeze. They have some good questions and answers at:  http://www.sierraantifreeze.com/benefit.html

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