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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Paint: Reducing and Disposing of Leftover Paint

paint cansPaint can contain harmful constituents. Oil based paints may contain toxic ingredients such as petrochemicals, solvents, and heavy metals. Paints made prior to 1960 may contain mercury and lead. These paint components can lead to severe health risks when we are exposed to them. Small children are especially sensitive, and over exposure can lead to serious health problems and even death.

Paint is intended to be used up, yet the reality is most consumers hang on to their leftover paint until it is no longer useful. Leftover paint becomes a waste when people change the color of the room, move, or repaint using fresh cans of paint and no longer want the old paint.

An average of 560 million gallons of household paint are sold in the United States each year. That’s a lot of paint!

Too much of that paint ends up in our nation’s landfills, or worse, dumped down the drain or on the ground, polluting the environment.

But you can help

By following some simple steps, you can be the key to reducing the amount of paint that ends up in our environment.



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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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