Revision April 1992
Take Me Shopping
Original Edition Written by
Alicia A. Flynn & Rory E. Kessler
Hazardous Waste Management Program
Office of Toxics and Solid Waste Management
Department of Planning and Development
Santa Clara County
This booklet recommends using specific materials and techniques in the home as substitutes for commonly-used household products that are potentially harmful to humans and the environment in general. These alternative products and techniques have been collected from a wide variety of sources. Some have been carefully tested. Others are traditional recommendations that have been passed down for generations without formal testing. You will probably discover that most of them are going to save you money. If one recommendation doesn't do the job or seems like too much work, don't give up. Try another.
As we begin to understand the importance of keeping hazardous products out of our homes, more and more attention will be focused on safer ways to maintain our homes. Watch for new products and ideas.
This is an important and exciting period. We are all starting to recognize that each of us must take responsibility for the impacts caused by products that we buy.
This booklet is brought to you by:
Santa Clara County Hazardous Waste Management Program
Santa Clara Valley Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program
Every attempt has been made to assure that the information contained in this publication is accurate. The County of Santa Clara, the Santa Clara Valley Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program, the City of San Jose, and the California Integrated Waste Management Board assume no responsibility and disclaim any liability for any injury or damage resulting from the use or effect of any product or information specified in this publication.
This document was prepared as a result of work sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (Board). It does not necessarily represent the views of the Board, its employees, or the State of California. The Board, the State of California, its employees, contractors, and subcontractors make no warranty, express or implied, and assume no legal liability for the information in this document; nor does any party represent that the use of this information will not infringe upon privately owned rights.
The Nevada County Hazardous Waste Task Force plus DOS, and EH, wish to thank the following individuals and organizations for the use of their publications in the preparation of this booklet:
Households with small children must be especially careful about the hazardous nature of a product. In the hands of a curious child, products that are reasonably safe when used as directed can cause grievous harm. In 1990, 11% of calls to Poison Control Center involved a child and a cleaning product.
Improper disposal of these products can endanger the health of your family, the community, sanitation workers, and the environment. See page 58 for information on how to dispose of these products properly.
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First of all, know that you can make a difference! This booklet was developed to help you make that difference by becoming a consumer of less-toxic products.
As an informed consumer, you can have an impact on the amounts and types of household products produced. By shopping for less-toxic or non-toxic products, you send a message to manufacturers which encourages them to produce safer alternatives to hazardous household products. If your local store doesn't stock products that are recommended in this booklet, talk to the store's manager and ask him/her to consider selling the product. For suggestions on where to find some hard-to-find products, contact the offices listed in Additional Resources, p. 63.
Vote with Your Dollar!
Use this booklet when you make up your shopping list. Better yet, take it with you when you go shopping. Then, if you require additional information, you can simply thumb through the guide until you find what you need.
This booklet is designed to help you identify and shop for safer substitutes to hazardous household products. It includes information on less-toxic or non-toxic alternative products and techniques, safe handling, storage and disposal of the hazardous products you do buy, and who to contact for additional information.
Read this booklet with a pen in your hand.
Here is a brief summary of what you will find inside:
In this section we take a look at a typical pesticide label. If you don't do so already, get in the habit of reading labels. This will help you know more about the products you purchase and aid you in selecting the least-toxic product.
This section lists a variety of alternatives and safer substitutes organized according to product type. In some cases, there are specific safe handling recommendations. The shopping lists that follow each discussion include brand name examples and information about the recommended materials. (page 11)
This section outlines general safe practices for handling and storage of household products that contain ingredients that have the potential to cause harm. (page 57)
It also includes the hotline number for information on the disposal programs in Santa Clara County. (page 58)
There are two brief sections on specific concerns associated with aerosol containers and septic systems. (page 59)
This section contains information on who to contact locally about hazardous household products, and agencies and books that can provide additional information on alternative products and safer substitutes. (page 62)
Buy Non-Toxic Products
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Federal law requires that most hazardous household products include specific types of information about the product on their labels.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) regulates labeling of products which contain pesticides.
The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) regulates labeling of all other hazardous products.
Most product labels tend to advertise the virtues of the product rather than emphasize information on product safety. The consumer must know what to look for and how to read the fine print on a label.
When pesticides are registered they are subjected to tests that examine the acute or immediate hazard associated with that product. The signal word on the label can give you a general indication of the level of toxicity (lethal dose) of the product:
Directions: Spray thoroughly on infested plant parts. Repeat as necessary. Household pests (Roaches, Ants, Flies): 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water. Spray on area frequented by insects. Avoid contamination of food, dishes, utensils and waster. Repeat as necessary. Vegetables (Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Beans, Peas, Potatoes):
1 Tablespoon per gallon water. Do not apply to Broccoli and Peas within 3 days of harvest and to Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower or Kale within 7 days of harvest. Do not apply to Beans within 1 day of harvest. Use up to harvest on Potatoes.
CAUTION: Harmful if swallowed. Do not breathe vapor or spray mist. Avoid contact with skin and hands. Wash hands thoroughly after using. Avoid contamination of food. Keep children and animals away from treated areas until the areas are dry. If poisoning occurs, call a physician immediately. Note to Physicians: Emergency Information - call (123) 456-7890. Atropine is antidotal. Do not use, pour, spill or store near heat or open flame. Food utensils such as teaspoons or Tablespoons should not be used for food purposes after use with pesticides. Do not reuse container. Dispose of container when empty. This product will kill fish. Keep out of any body of water. Do not contaminate water by cleaning of equipment or disposal of wastes. Apply this product only as specified on this label. This product is highly toxic to bees.
NOTICE: Buyer assumes all responsibility for safety and use not in accordance with directions.
Product 1223344 EPA Reg. No. 0000 EPA Est 111-22-3
Chemico Chemical Company, 100 Main Street, Beaverton, MD 54321
Tranziapon Insect Spray
CAUTION: Keep out of reach of children
Net Contents 8 fl. oz.
Store in a cool, dry place. Read entire label. Use in accordance with label cautions and directions. Keep original container. Do not put concentrate or dilute into food or drink container.
Active Ingredients by wt. Tranziapon* -49%
Derivative Solvent -34%
Inert Ingredients -17%
3 Ditransudate of cismercapto pontificate
Makes up to 24 gallons
Diluted spray kills insects: Aphids, Red Spider Mites, Flies, Mealy-Bugs and Scales.
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This section is divided into general product categories:
It is important to note that some of the recommended materials may not be non-toxic but rather are less-toxic, safer alternatives to products that are believed to be hazardous.
To make it easier to find the recommended pest control and cleaning products, brand name examples are included. The examples have been collected, primarily, from five documents written by recognized experts in their respective fields. These source documents are preceded by an asterisk on the lists of books found on pp. 64 and 65.
No endorsement of named products is intended, nor is criticism implied of similar products that are not mentioned.
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|For This||Try This|
|Air Conditioning||If your air conditioning system needs a charge of freon (a chlorofluorocarbon Freon Recharge (CFC)), the system is leaking and is contributing to the depletion of the earth's ozone layer. Don't add more freon. Get the leak fixed.|
Find a garage that has the equipment to recover and recycle freon.
Buy a car without air conditioning. Almost all car air conditioning systems use freon. Substitutes are being studied.
|Antifreeze||Have your antifreeze changed at a garage that recycles antifreeze. Call and ask.|
Don't drain your used antifreeze into the street. What goes into the storm drains flows directly into our creeks and on to the Bay with no treatment. See page 17 for more info on antifreeze.
Drain your used antifreeze into a drain pan. Collect the 2 gals. that were in your radiator plus 2 additional gals. of flush water. This will capture most of the metal particles (toxic to fish) that were in your radiator fluid. Take to an HHW Disposal Program. See p. 58.
Change your antifreeze regularly to prevent corrosion in your radiator.
|Radiator||Chemical flushes, which contain very chemical corrosive chemicals, have been shown to flushes sometimes cause more damage in your radiator than help. They may loosen up mineral deposits that have been protecting weak, corroded spots in the radiator.|
Install a simple back flushing system to allow you to really flush your radiator well with just water.
Ask your mechanic.
|Degreasers||Never hose down oil and grease spills. To absorb grease and oil spills on concrete surfaces, sprinkle cornmeal, sawdust, or kitty-litter; allow to sit for several hours, then sweep into a plastic bag and place in the trash. (Professional garages always have an absorbant material on hand in case of fluid spills.)|
|Grease on hands||Wear gloves to keep hands clean. This becoming standard practice in some professional garages.|
Use citrus-based hand cleaners.
Rub greasy hands with baby oil. Then clean with soap and water.
|Motor oil||Always recycle used oil! If your neighborhood has curbside pickup of recyclables like aluminum and newspapers, you probably have curbside oil pickup.|
Call your garbage company.
Or, contact local recycling centers to see if they accept used oil.
Or call 1-800-553-2962 for a list of service stations and other businesses that accept used oil.
Have your oil changed professionally. They will recycle the oil.
Fix your car's oil leak! People who would never think of pouring oil down a storm drain or into a creek, allow their car to leak oil onto the street.
Do not use waste oil on roads to control dust. Most of that oil will end up being washed into our creeks.
Re-refined, recycled oil is now becoming available. Ask your retailer.
Support the recycled products market.
|Oil Filters||Drain filters into your used oil pan for 24 hrs.|
Place filter in a plastic bag. Your city's curbside oil program may accept filters. Call your garbage company. Or, take to a disposal program, see p. 58.
The metal will be recycled.
|Transmission & Brake fluid||Fix leaks.|
Some automotive fluids can be recycled.
Keep fluids separated and take to a disposal program, p. 58.
|Car batteries||Easy to recycle, see p. 17 for info on batteries and p. 66 for a list of battery recyclers.|
Clean battery terminals with a paste of baking soda and water.
|Gasoline||Walk, bicycle, or use public transit.|
Limit your use of fuel by driving a fuel-efficient car and keeping it tuned, by carpooling, and by planning vehicle trips efficiently ("cold engine" starts really pollute).
Consider modifying your engine to use propane, methanol or natural gas. They burn cleaner than gasoline. And pumps are scattered throughout the Bay Area.
Or buy an electric car - the car of the future. Contact California Energy Commission for info: (916) 324-3298.
Avoid having to dispose of old gasoline. Stored gas can go stale after 6 months. Stale gas can make starting an engine very difficult or even impossible. (If uncontaminated, gas can be used up, a cup or so at a time, by adding to tanks of fresh gas. Or see p. 58 for disposal programs.
|Boats||Use up or transfer gas before storing the boat over the winter.|
|Lawn mowers||Buy only enough gas to do the job for the next month-even 1/2 gal. at a time. Storing gas in mower can damage carburetor parts in a few months.|
Next time, buy a manual push mower. There are no fuel costs, no pollution, no noise, and you get exercise!
|Windshield Washer Solution||Use plain water, or water with a touch of liquid soap. A dilution of 3:1 (water to fluid) of the average ready-to-use commercial windshield washer fluid is adequate freeze protection for most of California (i.e. down to 20 degrees F.) (Commercial products contain methanol to prevent freezing, and a detergent. This alcohol contributes to air pollution and is dangerous if swallowed.)|
Do not use a vinegar mixture. May damage the windshield washer pump. See more on glass cleaners, p. 20.
|Washing the Car||Take cars to a commercial carwash. Their wastewater either goes to a wastewater treatment plant or is recycled at the carwash.|
If you wash the car on the street, use only water. If you need to use soap (e.g. to cut grease), use one that has been shown to biodegrade quickly (see p. 17). Empty your bucket into a sink or toilet, not the storm drain. Whatever goes into the storm drain goes directly into our creeks with no treatment. Chemicals in soaps and detergents are highly toxic to fish and other marine life.
Wash cars on your lawn or a dirt area so that water can return to the groundwater supply, not run off into the storm drain. Also, the chemicals in your soap or detergent could be filtered by the soil and biodegrade in the soil into less harmful substances.
|Polishes||To polish chrome, apply a paste of baking soda and water with a sponge or soft cloth; after a few minutes, rinse clean and dry.|
|Degreasers||Use water-based detergents or citrus-based degreasers. Avoid products which contain methylene chloride (known to cause cancer in laboratory animals). Never use gasoline to clean auto parts. Gas contains benzene(known to cause cancer in humans). Evaporating gas contributes to air pollution.|
Kerosene or diesel fuel may be adequate for your degreasing needs (less flammable and less dangerous to store than gas; doesn't evaporate as fast as gas; recyclable (see p. 58).
Steam clean your engine at carwashes equiped with coin-operated steam cleaning equipment.
Gasoline - Because of its flammable and toxic characteristics, gasoline can be one of the most dangerous products found around the house. Gas contains benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer in humans. Avoid breathing gas fumes and never use gas to clean auto parts or hands. Avoid storing any type of fuel. If you must, only use containers specifically designed for this purpose and leave a couple of inches for vapor expansion. Store the container in a secure, well-ventilated area of the garage or storage shed, away from the hot water heater, with its pilot light, or other potential source of heat, sparks or flame and where children can't get at it.
Used motor oil - Used oil has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Keep hands as clean as possible while working on the car.
Solvents - Auto part degreasers are usually composed of solvents that evaporate quickly. The fumes are often toxic and very flammable. Never smoke while using degreasers. Use outside, ideally, or in well-ventilated areas with open windows and a fan.
Car batteries - Be careful not to spill the fluid that's inside the battery. Sulfuric acid found in batteries is extremely corrosive; just a small amount can burn skin and cause blindness if splashed in eyes. Sulfuric acid also gives off ignitable gases (so don't smoke near the battery). The lead in improperly disposed of batteries can contaminate groundwater supplies and surrounding soils. Lead affects the human central nervous system. Always turn in old vehicle batteries when purchasing new ones or give/sell used batteries to a battery recycler (see p. 66).
Antifreeze - Though highly toxic, ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in antifreeze, has a very sweet smell and taste which is attractive to small children and pets. Clean up any spills immediately and never leave antifreeze in open, unattended containers. Antifreeze going down a storm drain carries the ethylene glycol and metal fragments (esp. lead) from your engine into creeks and on to the Bay. Both ethylene glycol and these metal particles are toxic to fish.
|For This||Try This|
|Surface Cleaners||Find a combination that works for you, and always keep some ready in a squirt bottle. You'll find that weak acids like vinegar & lemon juice are good at cutting grease.|
Mix: 1 quart hot water, 1 tsp vegetable oil-based soap/detergent, 1 tsp borax, & 2 tbl vinegar.
Use vegetable oil-based soaps/detergents.
|Products with Drain Openers||Put a strainer on all drains.|
Pour boiling water down the kitchen drain once a week to keep it grease free.
Toss a handful of baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain, sealing in the carbon dioxide gas bubbles as they agitate your clog loose. Let sit 15 min. Rinse with 2 qts. boiling water. Follow with plunger.
Most bathroom sink clogs are caused by hair. Prevent with a good sink strainer.
Use a metal snake to unclog stubborn drains. A snake is a great investment.
Roots in drains:
|Glass Cleaners||1/4 cup white vinegar / 1 qt. water.|
The pros use a squeeze of dishwashing liquid in gal. water.
A quality squeegee is the pro's secret to streakless windows.
|Oven Cleaners||Mix 2 tbl liquid dish soap & 2 tsp borax in 2 cups of warm water. Apply and let sit for 20 min., then scrub.|
Or, use a non-chlorinated scouring powder, like Bon Ami. Or use a baking soda, salt, and water paste.
Clean glass oven door with Bon Ami. Use razor blade or spatula for tough spots.
Avoid aerosol oven cleaners. Easy-off brand has a non-caustic formula with no lye (sodium hydroxide).
Don't use any abrasive cleaning materials on self-cleaning ovens.
|Mildew Removers||Scrub mildew spots with borax/water with a nylon scouring pad. If plaster wall is penetrated by mold, leave a borax/water paste on the wall for a couple days. Vacuum off.|
Or, try scrubbing mildew with a vinegar and salt paste, if problem is not severe.
To clean mildew from a shower curtain use a mixture of 1/2 cup borax/1 gal water
Or, try vinegar full strength, then rinse.
Or, machine wash curtain, with a towel. Add 1 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.
|Rug, Carpet & Upholstery||Regular vacuuming will keep dirt from getting ground in.|
|Cleaners||Clean up spill right away. You knew that...|
Pour club soda on a spill and blot.
Use a non-aerosol, soap-based cleaner.
Mix 1 qt. warm water, 1 tsp. vegetable-oil-based soap/detergent, 1 tsp. borax, and a splash of vinegar; apply with a damp cloth or sponge and rub gently; blot.
|Toiletbowl Cleaners||Use mix of 1/2 cup borax /1 gal. water to clean and deodorize.|
Let 1 cup borax sit in the bowl overnight.
Coat stains in toiletbowl with paste of lemon juice and borax. Let sit about 20 min. and scrub with bowl brush.
Clean frequently with a solution of baking soda and water; sprinkle baking soda around the rim.
Avoid solid toilet bowl deodorizers that contain paradichlorobenzene (there is evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals)
Some toiletbowl-cleaning products contain acids (read labels). If acids are mixed with a cleaner containing chlorine (like bleach), toxic chlorine gas is released.
|Tub & Sink Cleaner||Use baking soda like a scouring cleanser. Use non-chlorinated cleanser (e.g. Bon Ami). Very effective and doesn't dissolve as fast as baking soda.|
Try fine grain wet/dry sandpaper (400 grit) to remove pot marks in porcelain sinks (gentler than common scouring cleansers).
Chlorinated cleansers may still be necessary to remove stubborn stains in porcelain.
Caution: chlorinated cleansers contain bleach which can react with other cleaners that contain ammonia or acids, to form dangerous gases.
To remove mineral deposits around faucets, cover deposits with strips of paper towels, soaked in vinegar. Let set for 1 hour and clean.
Note: Hard water means the water has a high mineral content (e.g. calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). This often results in whitish mineral deposits left on faucets, shower doors, drains, windows. Vinegar, a weak acid, can dissolve many of these deposits.
|For This||Try This|
|Laundry Detergents||Use detergents that don't contain phosphates. Liquid laundry detergents do not have phosphates. Fortunately, non-phosphate detergents have been shown to clean very well.|
See an analysis of the effectiveness of laundry cleaners in Consumer Reports, Feb 1991.
Some laundry compounds have been shown to contain fewer polluting metals than others (see examples in the shopping list). Use simple laundry soap. Cleans better if a water softener like borax, washing soda, or baking soda is added to prevent soap scum residue.
Or, consider installing a water conditioner in your home. Softens hard water; lets soap work better.
Use products which contain "washing soda." Washing soda brightens fabrics, costs less than bleach and is safer to have around.
|Chlorine Bleach||Use non-chlorine dry bleach or washing soda to whiten clothes.|
Use hydrogen peroxide-based liquid bleaches. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen in wastewater.
If you use chlorine bleach, try using half the recommended amount and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup baking soda per load.
Limit use of bleaches where possible.
Don't buy lemon-scented bleaches. Makes bleach attractive to children. See Safe Handling, p. 22.
|For This||Try This|
|Floor Cleaners||To clean vinyl tile and linoleum, use 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup of washing soda, in 1 gallon warm water.|
Remove scuff marks on linoleum with toothpaste.
To clean wood floors, damp mop with a mild vegetable oil soap and dry immediately.
For painted or varnished wood floors, mix 1 tsp washing soda & 1 gal. hot water; rinse with clear water. Dry immediately.
To clean polyurethane-sealed wood floors, use 1/4 cup white vinegar in 1 gal. water. Dry immediately.
|Shoe Polish||For leather shoes, apply olive oil, walnut oil, or beeswax to shoes then buff with a chamois cloth.|
To clean leather, rub equal parts of white vinegar and linseed oil into leather; buff with soft cloth.
To shine and protect patent leather shoes, rub with a dab of petroleum jelly.
To clean dirt marks from suede, rub with an art-gum eraser and buff lightly with sandpaper, an emery board or a wire suede brush.
Avoid products containing trichloroethylene (TCE), trichloroethane (TCA), methylene chloride, nitrobenzene (chemicals seen to cause central nervous system problems; liver damage, if swallowed). If you use conventional shoe polish, use in well-ventilated area.
|Furniture Polish||Polish unvarnished wood with almond, walnut, or olive oil. Work it in well and wipe off excess. Oily surfaces attract dirt.|
To clean and polish varnished wood, use a mild vegetable oil soap.
Use linseed oil to revitalize old furniture.
Wash painted wood with a mix of 1 tsp washing soda in a gallon of hot water; rinse with clear water.
To remove watermarks from wood furniture, rub toothpaste on spot and polish with a soft cloth.
Many furniture polishes contain petroleum distillates-very dangerous if swallowed.
|Metal Polishes||Brass: Mix 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 cup white vinegar with enough flour to make a paste. Apply thickly. Let sit for 15 min-1/2 hr. Rinse thoroughly with water to avoid corrosion.|
Copper: Polish with a paste of lemon juice and salt.
Silver: Boil silver 3 minutes in a quart of water containing:
Chrome: Wipe with vinegar, rinse with water, then dry. (Good for removing hard water deposits.)
Stainless steel: Clean and polish with a baking soda/water paste or a cleanser like Bon Ami.
|Dry cleaning||Remove the plastic bags from fresh dry cleaning and air the clothing out before hanging in your closet. This will limit your exposure to perchloroethylene, the solvent used in dry cleaning.|
Hand wash, where possible. Ask questions about cleaning options when you buy the clothes. Consult U.C. Extension Home Economist for fabric care information - (408) 299-2635.
Buy clothes that don't require dry cleaning (e.g. washable rayon or silk)
|Fabric Softener||To freshen and soften natural-fiber clothing, add 1 cup vinegar or 1/4 cup baking soda during final rinse. To reduce "static cling" in synthetics, line dry clothes. Or remove clothes from the dryer while they are still slightly damp.|
Fabric softener sheets are safer to have in your laundry room than a liquid or aerosol softener (less chance of product being swallowed or getting into eyes or lungs accidentally).
|Presoak||Soak heavily-soiled items in warm water with 1/2 cup washing soda for 30 minutes.|
|Spot/Stain||Use your regular laundry detergent as a Remover booster. Make a paste from a powder detergent or pour a liquid detergent directly on a stain. Rub into stain with toothbrush. Then launder as usual. See Spot/Stain Removers, p. 29.|
|For This||Try This|
|Stains||Avoid products with 1,1,1-trichloroethane on Fabrics (TCA) or napthalene.|
Blood: Immediately clean stain with club soda or sponge with cold water; "bleach" with 1/4 cup borax in 2 cups water. Sponge with cold water and rinse. - Or, saturate with hydrogen peroxide. Let sit a couple of min. and wash. May bleach out color, so test first.
Chocolate and coffee: Soak in cold water, rub with soap and a borax solution, rinse, then launder. If necessary, rub with a borax/water paste.
Fruit stains: Soak in cold water 30 minutes; rub soap into remaining stain; then wash; "bleach" with lemon juice and sunlight, if needed.
Grease: Apply paste of cornstarch and water. Brush off when dry.
Ink: Tough to get out. Try saturating stain with milk.
Lipstick: Rub with cold cream or shortening to dissolve color; rinse area with solution of washing soda and warm water to remove grease; wash in soapy water.
Oil: Rub white chalk into stain before laundering.
Stains Perspiration: Pretty tough, but try on Fabrics sponging stain with a weak solution of white vinegar or lemon juice, and water.
Rust stains from clothing: Moisten spot with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and leave in the sun for a couple of days.
Tea: Stretch fabric over a basin and pour boiling water over the stain; wash as usual.
Wine: Blot with paper towels to absorb wine. Then apply either club soda, rubbing alcohol, borax or white wine (!) to blot out the stain.
|Stains||Rub with moist baking soda, cornstarch on Porcelain or salt.|
Tougher stains: Make a paste using 3 tbls borax and 1 tbl of lemon juice; scrub with nylon scouring pad and rinse with water.
|Dishes||Phosphates contribute arsenic to the Bay (toxic to marine life). Choose a detergent with low phosphate content (read labels and see examples in our shopping list). Unless your water is very hard, you should get good results using half the recommended amount in your dishwasher.|
Sprinkle a handful of baking soda over the dishes instead of filling the open dispenser with detergent.
Camping: Never wash with soap directly in a lake or stream. The chemicals in soap are toxic to fish and other marine life. Wash in buckets or pots and use soap that biodegrades quickly. Drain wash water onto the ground, well away from the water's edge.
Disinfectants: Soap and hot water is sufficient for most of your household cleaning needs.
|For This||Try This|
|Air Fresheners||If there is an odor, address the problem directly by cleaning or removing the cause.|
Open doors and windows.
Use a stove fan when cooking.
Leave baking soda in open containers in refrigerator, closets, and bathrooms.
Most air freshener products either mask the odor or contain chemicals that desensitize your nose. They also contain chemicals that contribute to air pollution.
Avoid products that contain paradichlorobenzene (evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals).
Air fresheners/disinfectants don't disinfect the air when sprayed into the air. They are disinfectants only when sprayed on surfaces.
To scent the air:
|Deodorizers||For carpets, sprinkle a mix of baking soda, borax and cornmeal liberally on carpet. Wait an hour or overnight. Vacuum.|
Sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of cat box before adding kitty litter.
Sprinkle borax in the bottom of garbage cans to inhibit the growth of odor-producing molds and bacteria.
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|For This||Try This|
|Paint||Use latex (water-based) paint instead of oil-based paint. Oil-based paints contain a high percentage of solvents which contribute to air pollution. You are exposed to solvent fumes while the oil paint dries.|
Calculate amount needed carefully. Patronize stores that will give you expert help. Many paint stores will take back unopened cans. Ask them.
Give good left-over paint to a community organization that can use it-use your imagination. If you have 5 or more gals of same color, call (408) 299-7300 to donate it to organizations the County has become aware of that want paint.
For disposal of waste paint, see disposal programs, p. 58. Your old latex will be recycled into new latex.
Use whitewash for barns, basements, and fences instead of paint. (A simple mix of hydrated lime & water-a less-toxic alternative to white paint.)
Air out newly-painted bedrooms before people sleep there again.
|Brush Cleaners||Clean brushes immediately after use. Wash out latex paint over a sink, not outside, in the gutter.|
Work mechanic's "waterless" hand cleaner into brush and wash with soap and water.
Clean paint brushes hardened with dried oil-based paint by soaking in hot vinegar.
|Paint Thinners||Avoid using oil-based paints which require solvent thinners for cleanup.|
Pour off clear thinner for reuse after particles have settled out.
Wrap particles in newspaper and throw in trash.
|Chemical Paint Strippers||To strip paint, use a heat gun, a paint scraper, or a sanding block with course sandpaper (wear safety goggles and a mask).|
Note: Stripping lead-based paint is dangerous and should be done by a professional. Inhaling the dust or vapors can cause lead poisoning.
Water-soluble paint strippers are available that contain less-hazardous ingredients.
Avoid strippers containing methylene chloride and trichloroethylene (TCE) (evidence that these cause cancer in laboratory animals); benzene (known to cause cancer in humans); 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) (irritant to eyes and tissues), xylene (toxic by drinking or breathing); or toluene (known to cause birth defects).
For disposal of old and unwanted stripping compounds, see p. 58.
|Spray Paints||Don't use aerosols. Aerosols make it more likely that the user will breathe in the paint. The aerosol propellants contribute to air pollution.|
|Wood Preservatives||Do not use old products which contain pentachlorophenol (PCP) (evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals), creosote, tributyltin oxide, or folpet.|
Do not burn wood treated with wood preservatives. You'd be releasing the chemicals into the air. Old, treated, scrap wood can be taken to a landfill for disposal.
Water-based preservatives are available that can seal wood and protect it from water rot and insects.
A water sealer or polyurethane can prevent wood rot. Use types of wood (such as redwood and cedar) that are naturally resistant to insects and wood rot.
|Wood||Buy "pressure-treated" lumber. Preservatives have already been applied. Eliminates the need to handle wood preservatives and exposure to toxic chemicals.|
If untreated wood will be in contact with soil, you may need to use an arsenic-based product. Arsenic is more toxic than copper, zinc or boric acid preservatives.
|Wood Stains||Use finishes derived from natural & Finishes sources, such as shellac, tung oil, and linseed oil.|
Use water-based stains.
Try the new less-toxic wood working compounds that are becoming available.
|For This||Try This|
|Deodorants & Antiperspirants||Use non-aerosols such as solids and roll-ons.|
Try baking soda as a powder.
|Fingernail Polish & Polish Remover||Fingernail polish contains a high percentage of solvents. If you use nail polish, apply it in a well-ventilated room.|
Only patronize salons that are well-ventilated.
Nail polish remover is basically acetone, a solvent strong enough to dissolve furniture finish and some plastics. It evaporates quickly. Avoid fumes by only using in well-ventilated areas.
Poisonous if swallowed. Can cause blindness if splashed in eyes.
|Hair Sprays||Use non-aerosol pump sprays or styling gels.|
Note: Aerosol hair sprays are a surprisingly significant contributor to air pollution.
|Shaving Cream||Use shaving soap and a lather brush instead of foam products in aerosol containers. Even aerosols that do not contain CFCs anymore, contain gases like butane that are both flammable and contribute to air pollution.|
Give shaving soap a try.
|Thermometers||Use an electronic thermometer instead of one containing mercury.|
|Ants||In the house: Keep counters, floors and pet feeding areas clean. Remove and clean up whatever the ants are after.|
Follow the ant trail and find out how they're getting in. Wipe up ants & ant trails w/soapy water.
Caulk openings where they enter the house. Petroleum jelly in the cracks or duct tape can be a quick, temporary fix.
Apply diatomaceous earth or silica gel into cracks. Apply a fine dusting to entry points that can't be caulked.
Or, apply boric acid dust into cracks where ants emerge. It is a poison, so be sure it is inaccessible to pets and children.
Apply a pyrethrin-based insecticide to entry points. Very effective as a repellent.
Indoor Plants Note: Insects seem to always find stressed and weakened plants.
In the yard: Ants are generally beneficial in the garden (e.g. they attack termites and eat flea eggs), so limit your control efforts to problem areas.
|Ash White Flies||The whitefly that appeared in large numbers throughout the Bay Area during summer and fall '91 was the ash whitefly.|
Pesticides won't help. Use of pesticides won't even put a dent in the population, while killing some of the whitefly's natural enemies.
Encarsia partenopea wasps, a tiny, sting-less wasp, a predator of the ash whitefly, is being released in affected communities in California. Things should be back in balance in a couple years. (May be difficult to order these wasps.)
Be sure plants get enough water while under attack. White flies suck plant fluids.
Use commercially available non-toxic whitefly traps or make your own traps by painting a piece of cardboard bright yellow, coat with a sticky product like Tanglefoot or a mix of petroleum jelly and detergent. Hang near infested plants.
Safe for Encarsia wasps who are not attracted to yellow.
Greenhouse: The common whitefly that we usually see in our gardens and greenhouses is the greenhouse whitefly. Insecticidal soaps will help if you catch the problem early. Encarsia formosa is a predator of this whitefly. (Commonly available from suppliers-see Directory of ..., p. 64.)
Insects on Indoor Plants Gently sponge or spray leaves with soapy water, then rinse.
|Caterpillars||Hand pick, if possible. (It has been reported that tomato hornworms glow at night under a "black light.")|
Apply products containing Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) an effective and popular product. Must be applied to the leaves when the caterpillars are eating. Safe to mammals and other insects, but will kill butterfly caterpillars, too, so be sure to target only the pest caterpillar-infested plants.
|Garden Insects||It is easier to figure out how to control the in general pest if you know what it is. Bring a sample of the bug and the damage it is causing (in a sealed container) to a nursery, to County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, or to the U.C.Cooperative Extension Office (p. 63).|
Introduce frogs, toads and lizards into your yard.
For small infestations, handpick or spray with full-force spray of water.
To protect local beneficial insects like green lacewings and lady bugs, avoid using conventional pesticides. To attract and keep beneficial insects, grow a variety of flowering plants for year-round blooming. They need nectar, too.
And you can buy beneficial insects. See p. 64 for Directory.
Less-toxic products to consider first:
|Flies||Successful fly control requires eliminating fly breeding areas rather than trying to control adult flies after they emerge. Keep kitchen garbage containers tightly closed. Clean regularly. Sprinkle dry soap or kitty litter into bottom of container. Rinse out your recyclables.|
Check your yard for:
- garbage cans with loose lids,
- fruit rotting under trees,
- pet waste not collected daily,
- compost piles that are not turned at least once a week and where decomposing food is not covered with dirt or black plastic.
Screen windows and doors.
Use fly swatters, flypaper (streamers), traps with pheromones (sex attractant) or meat-baited traps.
|Mosquitoes||Screen windows and doors.|
Remove all standing water near your house (tires, wading pools, bird baths, vases, barrels). Critical step!
Stock ornamental ponds with mosquitofish (about 2 1/2"; free from County Vector Control, p. 63).
Use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (a non-toxic, biological control) in ponds. Kills the larvae in the water.
Encourage mosquito predators: birds, frogs, turtles, ants, spiders, dragonflies, bats, praying mantids.
Repellents: Use citronella oil insect repellents. Burn citronella candles or oil at outside gatherings. While not proven, some people find that mosquitoes find them less attractive if they take B vitamins.
|Moths||Clothes: Destroy all stages of clothes moths by cleaning garments before storing.|
Hang clothes in the sunlight and beat them to dislodge moth larvae and eggs, before storing.
Store clothes in sealed bags.
Vacuum closets thoroughly.
Cedar repels moths.
Note: mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene (evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals) or naphthalene (toxic by breathing).
|Roaches||Close openings into house (e.g. gaps around pipes and electrical work, door moulding, cracks in walls, etc.) with caulking, screening, weather-stripping.|
Seal all food containers.
Clean dishes nightly, or, if you don't, be sure they're sitting in a basin of soapy water.
Do not leave pet food out overnight.
Apply boric acid dust into cracks and places where roaches hide, like under the refrigerator. Apply only in out-of-the-way places where pets and children can't touch it. Roaches will avoid piles of boric acid, so use a fine dusting. This is a proven, less-toxic roach control product.
Apply fine dusting of diatomaceous earth or silica gel to roach walkways. These dusts dehydrate and repel roaches.
Place bay leaves in the pantry, cupboards and on shelves to repel cockroaches.
Use non-toxic roach traps (like Roach Motels¸) to monitor the change in the population.
|Silverfish||Silverfish feed on paper, glue, starch and some fabrics. They like warm and damp areas. Their presence can be an early indication of wood rot.|
Dry out damp areas.
Vacuum to eliminate any food source in carpets and cracks. Follow advice under Roaches above.
|Snails and Slugs||Minimize breeding spots-shady, cool, moist spots in the garden like an ivy patch, agapanthus, lilies, ice plant, wood pile, empty flower pots, etc.|
Hand pick-safest and surest method. Snails are active at night. With a flashlight, check traps (see below) 2 hrs. after sunset or in early morning. Kill snails by smashing or drowning in soapy water. (Dead snails will attract flies if not covered with dirt or collected in a bag). Use copper barriers (see below) to protect plants. If infestation is severe, judicious use of a metaldehyde snail bait may be needed. Be sure that pets can't get at it, e.g. place bait inside flattened tin cans (that snails can enter but your pet can't "nose" into) in the garden section with the most snail damage. The bait can attract and poison dogs. It is also toxic to birds, so place bait carefully.
Traps: Propped up, overturned clay pots, boards, or black plastic sheeting. Sink shallow pans, filled with stale beer, in the ground, with the rim even with ground level. Remove dead snails regularly. Yeast in the beer attracts snails.
Barrier: Copper stripping (2"+) mounted around raised planting beds keeps snails and slugs out of the protected area. (Snails won't cross copper.) Be sure to capture all snails already in the area. Bend sharp edges under to protect children and pets.
|Termites||If you suspect you have termites, have the type identified; p. 63 for experts.|
Prevention: Subterranean termites need water, so keep water away from the perimeter of the house.
Treatment: Hire a professional who uses some of the following less-toxic techniques:
|Wasps||Use non-toxic wasp traps (basically Yellow jackets plastic boxes wasps can't get out of).|
Trap wasps by suspending a piece of raw meat 1/2 inch over soapy water in a 5-gal. bucket.
If you find a wasp nest, contact County Vector Control, for information on wasp baiting. 299-2050.
|For This||Try This|
|Fungus Control||Choose varieties that are tolerant of or resitant to the fungi in our area.|
Plant roses in full sun, at least 3 ft. apart for good air circulation.
Remove and carefully dispose of dead or diseased leaves and flowers. Do not add them to the compost pile.
To control powdery mildew on roses: spray both sides of rose leaves with: 2 tbl mild liquid soap, 2/3 tsp baking soda in 1 gal water. Spray in the morning, weekly.
|Weed Control||Pull weeds out with roots, or cut off weeds just below the surface with a hoe, minimizing soil disturbance (Note: Soil disturbance stimulates dormant weed seeds.) Kill weeds before they begin to flower and produce seeds! To kill the roots and seeds of weeds and the insects in a selected area, cover area for 4-6 wks. in the summer with clear plastic sheeting (1 mil thickness is fine), seal w/soil at edges. Wet soil thoroughly before laying plastic. Remove plastic before planting. (Clear plastic heats sub-surface soil better than black.)|
Cover areas of garden you want weed free with woven black garden fabric before you plant. You can spread bark over it and it won't disintegrate like black plastic. Garden fabric lets water drain through while preventing weeds from growing.
Cover bare areas of garden with 5" of mulch. The mulch made from eucalyptus contains a chemical that prevents seeds from germinating.
Or, cover bare areas with living groundcover like grass, vetch, annual rye grass, or crimson clover to crowd out weeds. Improves the soil also.
In lawns, sprinkle grass seed in bare areas after weeding to prevent weeds from returning.
Mow your grass to 2", no shorter. Discourages weed growth. Mow weekly. Encourages dense growth of grass shoots. Crowds weeds. Use commercially available soap solution/weed killers.
Weeds can develop resistance to chemical herbicides (weed killers). If you use herbicides, limit use and paint or squirt product directly on individual weeds.
Give herbicides enough time to work. Don't overapply. Control runoff of herbicides. Do not apply weed killers if rain is forecast. Runoff goes directly into our creeks. Herbicides may be toxic to the wildlife in and around our creeks.
|Moss:||Soap-based moss killers are available. Some gardeners have been known to use bleach to kill moss in gardens. We do not recommend this practice. Yard runoff into the storm drain or creeks could be hazardous as bleach is very toxic to fish and other marine creatures.|
|For This||Try This|
|Soil Additives||Start a back-yard compost pile or a Fertilizers worm bin!!|
Compost adds valuable nutrients to the soil and improves its consistency.
And composting is the best way to dispose of kitchen and yard waste. Why throw away a valuable resource? See p. 65 for books on composting.
Use organic soil amendments such as peat moss, blood meal, bone meal, horn and hoof meal, fish emulsion, manure.
|For This||Try This|
|Pantry Moths||Place herbs that have insect-repellant qualities on pantry shelves or even in stored grain. U.S Dept. of Agriculture has found this to be effective.|
Try bay leaves, coriander, dill, cinnamon, lemon peel, black pepper.
Vacuum and wash down pantry shelves to kill eggs.
Dust shelves and cracks with a dehydrating dust.
If moths persist, try non-toxic, sticky, meal moth traps with pheromones.
Store grains and flours in pest-tight containers (e.g. a glass jar with a rubber seal and a metal spring clamp; zip-lock type bags are not adequate).
Freezing newly purchased bulk grains for a week will guarantee no new moths.
|Aphids||Aphids almost always arrive before their predators. Don't panic. While you're waiting...|
Crush dense colonies at plant tips.
Spray off with a strong stream of water.
Spray with insecticidal soap.
Mix 1 tbl dish soap/detergent & 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 1 tsp of this mix to 1 cup water and spray on aphids (works on mites, too). While not registered as a pesticide, this mix has been successful at a local Botanical Garden. Try solution on a few leaves first.
Oil may harm vegetable plants in the cabbage family.
Introduce green lacewings to your garden. They stick around longer than imported lady bugs. Green lacewings love perennial bunch grasses growing in the shade. They appreciate a source of nectar and pollen in the winter (e.g. fennel and calendulas).
See p. 64 for Directory of Producers...
Control aphids by controlling ants if ants are seen in aphid-infested areas. See ants.
Don't fertilize plants with high nitrogen fertilizer in early spring. Aphids love the fast, new growth. Use a slow-release fertilizer like fish emulsion.
|Flea Control||It is important to note that fleas can never be completely eradicated from your pets, or your home as long as you have pets. The key is to control infestations through a combination of these alternatives:|
In the house:
Vacuum house frequently (every day, at the beginning of your flea program-esp. carpet edges at the wall and pet bedding).
Remove, seal, and dispose of the vacuum bag outside the home and away from pets.
Leave vacuum bag in the sun for a day to kill fleas (will keep fleas from escaping into your yard from the trash).
Clean pet bedding regularly.
Steam clean the carpet; kills adults, the larvae and some eggs. The heat will trigger some of the eggs to hatch, so be prepared to vacuum soon after steam cleaning.
Apply a dusting of diatomaceous earth or silica gel to pet bedding, under furniture and around house's foundation. Dehydrates adult fleas.
Use Precor (methoprene), an "Insect Growth Regulator." "IGRs" interrupt the reproductive cycle of fleas. It prevents the flea larvae from maturing. Low-toxicity to mammals. Precor has recently become available by itself, without the more toxic adult flea killers. Pyrethrin/methoprene is a least-toxic combination of IGR and adult killer. Pyrethrin-based flea products are reported to be the least-toxic of the most commonly used conventional flea control products. Common forms found, in order of increasing toxicity: pyrethrums, pyrethrin alone or with inerts, pyrethrin with piperonyl butoxide and inerts.
Caution: Pyrethrin is often mixed with more-toxic ingredients.
On your pet:
In the yard:
|Deodorizers||Sprinkle litter box with baking soda before adding kitty litter.|
If pet wets the carpet, absorb as much moisture as you can, right away, with paper towels. Then either:
- Sprinkle a mix of 1 part borax to 2 parts cornmeal on the spot. Vacuum up after 1 or 2 hours.
- Or, apply a mix of 2 cups white vinegar in a gal. of water, and gently blot the stain.
Both borax and vinegar could slightly bleach the carpet, so try on an inconspicuous area first.
To discourage pets from wetting that spot again, sprinkle with dried pennyroyal.
|Animal Deterrents||To keep cats from clawing furniture:|
(1) Purchase a scratching post or make one from carpet scraps.
(2) Rub the herb rue on upholstery they claw. Rue is a bitter herb which cats detest.
Avoid deterrent products containing paradichlorobenzene (there's evidence that it causes cancer in laboratory animals).
To keep cats or dogs out of your yard:
|For This||Try This|
|Barbeque||Use a metal charcoal starter (10" tall, Lighting Fluid hollow, metal cylinder with holes; has a handle).|
No need for liquid starter.
Very effective. Lights briquettes in 15 minutes.
Find in supermarkets and hardware stores.
|Batteries||Buy solar-powered devices (like calculators and radios) and avoid using batteries.|
Use rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. They only hold a charge 1/3 as long as an alkaline, but they can be recharged approximately 1000 times (saves money!). Ni-cads are now sold with a life-time warranty (e.g. Millennium, Inc). It's best to completely drain Ni-Cads before recharging.
If you must use alkalines (typically for infrequent uses like smoke alarms) buy low- or no-mercury brands; recently available.
Change all batteries in a device at the same time. The weakest battery determines the power.
are concerned about the mercury, cadmium and silver in waste batteries getting into our drinking water or into the Bay.
|Spa chemical||Buy a spa with an ozonator. Ask your spa supplier. Eliminates the need to handle toxic spa chemicals.|
|Swimming pool||Consider a chlorine generator for chemicals your pool. Allows you to use and store a salt (inexpensive, non-toxic) instead of toxic chlorine pool chemicals. Good investment. Used by local junior colleges.|
Ask your pool supply store. Investigate ozonation.
Avoid copper-based algaecides.
Chlorine usually is adequate.
Always use caution when handling any hazardous household product. Many products on the market today contain toxic chemicals which can cause severe damage, even death, if ingested or splashed onto skin or into eyes. While exposure to some chemicals may not have an immediate, obvious effect on your health, there may be long-term health effects - many that are still not understood.
Store all hazardous household products in a secure place away from children and pets; store away from potential sources of heat, sparks or flames. Avoid storing flammable materials such as fuels.
Follow product instructions precisely.
Store products in their original containers. Should it become necessary to store a product in a different container, always clearly label the container with the product name and proper instructions. Never store in containers that resemble food containers.
Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Wear gloves and eye protection when handling hazardous products, and make sure the area you are working in is well ventilated. "Well ventilated" means work outside or, if inside, have windows open and use a fan that creates a cross breeze that draws vapors away from you.
Do not wear contact lenses while working with products that contain hazardous substances. Lenses can absorb chemical vapors.
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Do not dispose of hazardous household products:
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What Are Aerosols?
Aerosols are pressurized containers which contain active ingredients (such as pesticides or paint) and propellants. When placed under pressure, propellant gases liquefy and take up less space. When pressure from an aerosol container is released (usually by pressing a nozzle with your finger), the propellant returns to its gaseous state, dispersing the active ingredients into the air.
Many household products are packaged in aerosol containers. Examples include disinfectants, furniture polishes, hair sprays, oven cleaners, pesticides, room deodorizers, spray paints, and tub and tile cleaners.
Why Are Aerosols a Problem?
Many of these products contain toxic materials. When the contents of a container are released, the active ingredients are often dispersed beyond the intended target into the air. Because the particles released are so small, they are easily inhaled into the lungs and quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. A mis-directed spray can also cause serious eye injuries and skin irritations.
Another major concern is the explosive quality of aerosol containers. Not only are the contents under pressure, many propellants are highly flammable. Don't smoke while using aerosols!
A few types of aerosol products are still allowed to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the propellant (e.g. tuner cleaner, sold by electronic parts stores, and a few products used in the medical profession). CFCs are a problem because they react with and reduce the earth's ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the earth's surface from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Increased radiation can accelerate the development of skin cancer, skin aging, and eye damage. Read labels. Watch for mention of chloro... in the ingredients.
Most of the aerosol products now sold contain non-CFC propellant gases (such as butane and propane) in place of the outlawed CFCs. However, these gases are also a problem because they are flammable and they contribute to air pollution.
What Are The Alternatives?
Avoid using aerosols. Instead, use alternatives listed in this booklet or purchase non-aerosol products. Many household products previously packaged in aerosol cans are now available in other dispensers, such as pump sprays. As a last resort, purchase aerosol products which state on the container that they do not contain CFCs. If you use aerosol products, work outside, if possible, or, if indoors, be sure that your work area is well-ventilated.
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How Does a Septic System Work?
Rural homes which are not hooked up to a public sewer system use an underground septic system to treat wastewater discharged from the home.
A septic system generally consists of a holding tank and a leachfield. The holding tank separates out the solids, which are broken down by beneficial bacteria. The liquids pass through the holding tank and into a leachfield where it is dispersed underground. Soil filters the liquid and beneficial bacteria chemically break down remaining waste products.
Problems Caused by Hazardous Products
If products containing hazardous chemicals are poured down a sink or toilet on a septic system, they can kill the beneficial, digesting bacteria in the tank and disrupt the system.
Also, chemicals that cannot be broken down by the system's bacteria can pollute the soil and the surrounding groundwater when the liquid is dispersed by the leachfield. This is of great concern because half of the water that we drink in this county is groundwater.
Do not dispose of the following products down the drain if you have a septic system
What Are The Alternatives?
If you have a septic system, avoid purchasing and using household products which contain hazardous substances. Instead, use the alternatives listed in this booklet.
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For questions about hazardous materials. (408) 299-6930
To make an appointment for disposal with the County Program or to find out if your city has a program: (408) 299-7300
For questions about urban runoff pollution and pollution of our creeks: (800) 794-2482
Here are a few resources to get you started. Many more excellent books and pamphlets are becoming available every day. For more info, visit your local library.
The following is a list of companies which accept used vehicle batteries for recycling. Auto parts stores in California are required by law to accept used vehicle batteries with the purchase of a new battery. For more information, contact the following companies or your local auto parts store.
|Bayland Battery Corporation|
800 Faulstich Court
San Jose, 453-3522
|City Metals and Salvage|
11665 Berryessa Rd. (X Commercial)
San Jose, 452-0777
1800 S. Monterey Rd. (X Tully)
San Jose, 294-8443
|Montgomery Ward Automotive|
879 Blossom Hill Rd. (X Santa Teresa)
San Jose, 224-2357
|Montgomery Ward Automotive|
444 N. Capitol Ave. (X McKee)
San Jose, 272-6258
|San Jose Battery Exchange|
670 Stockton Ave.
San Jose, 947-1726
|Sears Automotive Center|
2180 Tully Rd. (X Quimby)
San Jose, 238-1122
91 E. 4th St. (X Depot)
Morgan Hill, 779-1781
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Poison Control Center
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Nurse on duty, 24 hrs.
(408) 299-5112 or 1-800-662-9886
To report improper disposal of hazardous materials call:
If the dumping is going on right now.
Toxic Tip Line (408) 299-8477
Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
Environmental Protection Unit
Waste Alert 1-800-69-TOXIC California EPA
Household hazardous waste disposal:
County HHW Disposal Program (408) 299-7300
For additional information on programs in your city, please refer to the local contact numbers on page 62.
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Last Updated: April 7, 1997