Now that summer is winding down and the days and evenings are getting cooler, we find our doors and windows closed more often as we move into fall.
Garages can be a wasteland for hazardous products and now is a good time to purge the garage and eliminate any potentially harmful toxins.
1. Tune-up your vehicle. If your vehicle is leaking oil or antifreeze, the puddles on the floor can release contaminants into the air and if your garage is attached – into your home. Also if it collects on your shoes it can be brought into your house and vehicle.
2. Replace antifreeze. Most antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol and both pets and kids have been know to drink this sweet tasting poison. Consider using Propylene glycol – it’s a bit more expensive but safer for your kids, pets and the environment.
3. Safely store chemicals. Place chemically-based cleaners & paint thinners on a high, secure shelf where they cannot be knocked over. If storing gas in your garage be sure to use an appropriate container and keep it away from any heat source such as a furnace or space heater.
4. Replace plastics. Plastics labeled with recycling code 3 contain toxic chemicals called phthalates which are used to soften PVC into a more pliable form. It is commonly used to package food and liquids and is most commonly used in children’s toys, plumbing and building materials. If possible replace with products made with natural materials such as wood or metal.
5. Purge carefully. Be sure to keep hazardous materials out of the landfill and dispose of household waste at your local recycling or e-waste center.