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Whether you are at home, at the office, or at the factory, there are potentially dangerous chemicals around you.  Not only can your health be affected by chemicals but also the health of the natural environment.  The keyword is natural, because potentially dangerous chemicals are seldom made in nature.  As our society continues to sell chemicals for just about every use, we are increasing the negative effects on our planet.

Think about chemical products in your home.  You can get a bottle of chemicals to fix everything from a clogged drain pipe to grime in your oven.   There are separate chemical products sold for cleaning bathroom floors, toilets, showers, and tubs.  You also wash your clothes, tableware, and body with chemicals each day.

Think about what chemicals are in an office.  Your copy machine uses chemicals in the duplication process.  In the employee break room or restroom, chemicals are used to keep it clean.  Don't overlook what's under your feet -- chemicals are used to clean the floor or carpet.  Even office tools like correction fluids, glue, and markers emit fumes from chemicals.

A customer watches as their used motor oil is collected for recycling during an AutoZone special used oil collection event.  Follow this link to learn more about recycling your used motor oil.

Oftentimes chemicals are associated with industrial processes.  In many cases, less toxic or non-toxic chemicals can be substituted to reduce or prevent pollution.  Costs associated with hazardous waste disposal can be reduced or avoided, as well as time-consuming reports, inspections, and permits.  Compliance becomes easier when non-toxic substitutions are made.  P2 Pays in many ways!

Many people have developed allergies to fragrances and commonly-used chemicals and additives.  Be aware that there are effective general-purpose cleaners, some of them from natural sources, such as vinegar, baking soda, and citrus fruits.  Non-toxic home and office products are readily available if we make the effort to be green consumers.

The U.S. EPA has many resources on chemicals.   Click to the  Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics to learn more or to request EPA publications.  Check the schedule for the Tennessee household hazardous waste collections to properly dispose of chemicals from you home. Another program to check for more information relating directly to school labs is the School Lab Chemical Cleanout Campaign.

For more information about the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Partnership, please contact Karen Grubbs at 615-532-0463 or 1-800-734-3619 or by email at [email protected].