The Department of Natural Resources is asking Iowans to be sure the Spring-cleaning bug doesn’t become fatal. D-N-R Environmental Specialist Theresa Stiner says the chemicals you use to clean, windows, cars and the garage could be dangerous to your family and the environment. Stiner says there hundreds of cases annually in Iowa of poisonings due to exposure to cleaning chemicals. She says you can avoid toxic cleaners by reading the labels and look for words like “caution”, “warning” or “keep out of the reach of children.” Stiner says there are non-toxic alternatives.Household items like baking soda and vinegar can be used for many cleaning tasks. Stiner says the toxic materials can end up in rivers and streams when they’re washed down the sink. She says you can also cause problems if you improperly clean up the cleaners.If you throw them in the trash, they can leach out of a landfill and get into groundwater. Stiner says you should take the toxic cleaners to a proper disposal facility. She says there’s a site on the Internet that can help you identify toxic cleaners.You can surf to www.checnet.org, or check the D-N-R’s website. Stiner says you can also call the Poison Control Hotline at 800-222-1222 with questions about cleaners.
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