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  Sierra Magazine
  November/December 2008
Table of Contents
 
  COLD SWEAT:
Ice Manliness Cometh
A Six-Dog-Power Engine
I (Heart) Snowshoeing
Skiing Yellowstone
Freeze-Frame
 
  MORE FEATURES:
Welcome Back to the World
Rotten Fish Tales
Big Fun in the Green Zone
 
  DEPARTMENTS:
Spout
Create
Enjoy
Hey Mr. Green
Smile
Act
Explore
Grapple
Comfort Zone
Mixed Media
Bulletin
Last Words
 
  MORE:
Sierra Archives
Corrections
About Sierra
Internships at Sierra
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Household Helpers

Resources for a clean and green home

IDENTIFY TROUBLE SPOTS

Safer Cleaning Products
What are the most dangerous products in the average home? How do some household cleaners make lakes dirty? Are "green" cleaners for real? Find the answers in this helpful factsheet, published by the Washington Toxics Coalition.
www.watoxics.org/thcln.htm

Hazardous Products in the Home
Identify potential hazards room by room. This EPA site also includes a glossary of dangerous products (from acid to wood preservatives), storage and disposal tips, and greener alternatives.
www.epa.gov/grtlakes/seahome/housewaste/house/mainmenu.htm

Home and Family Guide
Get tips from the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Center. Check out the "water" section for alternative cleaners and criteria for evaluating cleaning products.
www.perc.ca/waste-line/rrr/home

BBC News: Antibacterial Soap "May Not Work"
Learn why the American Medical Association has cautioned that widespread use of antibacterial soaps may actually be making bacteria stronger.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_791000/791934.stm

CLEAN UP YOUR ACT

What Does Clean Really Mean?
Stock your own safe cleaning kit with "better" and "best" alternatives (both store-bought and homemade) in this factsheet from the Georgia Strait Alliance, a Canadian nonprofit.
www.georgiastrait.org/newsletter1PM.pdf

Healthy Cleaning Alternatives
Use chemical products properly and create your own substitutes.
www.healthhouse.org/tipsheets/cleaning.htm

Safe Substitutes at Home
The Tennessee Valley Authority Regional Waste Management Department created this extensive factsheet on nontoxic household products.
http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/facts/safe-fs.html

Sierra Club Solid Waste Policy
Some of the toxic chemicals in cleaning compounds end up in sewage sludge, which is often used as fertilizer. Join the Sierra Club in calling for tighter regulations that will protect our soil and groundwater.
www.sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/solidwaste.asp

HEAVY SCRUBBING
(Technical tools for serious research)

Material Safety Data Sheets
Even if potentially hazardous materials aren't listed on a product's label, they'll be on its Material Safety Data Sheet, the technical specifications required by law for each chemical. Although they're generally sent to industries, hospitals, universities, and other large users, data sheets for many common household products are just a click away online.
www.ilpi.com/msds/ref/index.html

Troubling Bubbles
Nearly 500 products -- from household cleaners to hair dyes -- contain a petroleum-based active ingredient that has been shown to disrupt the endocrine systems of fish, birds, and mammals. For a detailed look at this environmental danger, order the report Troubling Bubbles: The Case for Replacing Alkylphenol Ethoxylate Surfactants from the Washington Toxics Coalition.
www.watoxics.org/p.htm

Environmentally Preferable Cleaners
Read an environmental and performance evaluation of general-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, and hand dishwashing liquids from the Energy, Environment, and Resources Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
http://eerc.ra.utk.edu/clean/pdfs/EnvPrefCleaners-wholedoc.pdf

Hazardous Substances Data Bank
Search the National Library of Medicine's peer-reviewed database for information on potentially hazardous chemicals. Topics include human-health effects, regulatory requirements, animal toxicity studies, and environmental impacts.
http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB

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