The first question you might be asking is, “What does San Mateo County Environmental Health do? How are my tax dollars being spent?” Well, as a division of the County Health System, the Environmental Health Division is focused on Consumer Protection related to food safety, hazardous materials management, water quality, proper land use, healthy homes, and pollution prevention. Our first several blogs will focus on pollution prevention.
So, what is pollution prevention? We have several programs in place for residents to use to dispose of household toxic chemicals, so they don’t end up in the landfill or water supply. Years ago, before these programs existed, it was common practice to dump chemicals in the gutter or the backyard, which led to water and soil contamination. The goal of pollution prevention is to educate people on the safe and proper way to dispose of chemicals, and to avoid using them whenever possible by using less hazardous alternatives.
Many people think of pollution as mostly coming from factories and cars, but a significant amount comes from other residential activities, like chemical use, product disposal, car washing, etc. We hope to educate and inspire residents to adopt best management practices, or even take a step further to help spread the word!
Next up: the programs of Environmental Health