dusty basement shelves filled with old solvents and bottles
Photo: Gala Narezo/Getty

Risky, Retro Remedies

Hailed in their day as miracle remedies meant to rid your house of pests or make a household task easier, many famous products have since been found to be highly toxic, carcinogenic, or just plain deadly. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned many of them as hazardous to humans and the environment. But if you inherited a house full of a previous owner's junk—or if your garage, shed, or basement hasn't been cleaned out in years—some of those lethal pesticides, poisons, and cleaners might still be lining the shelves.

Now's the time to do an inventory and safely dispose of these items to be sure nothing that could threaten your family or pets is still lingering. To help you know what to look for, here's our list of killers masquerading as household helpers. If you find any of these chemicals, contact the hazardous waste collection agency in your town, city or state to learn how to handle them and make sure you don't harm yourself or the environment in trying to get rid of them.
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