Your Place: EPA offers 'Safer Choice' products to consumers

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled on March 4 what it is calling the "Safer Choice" label, to help you find cleaning and other products that are safer for people and the environment.

The agency said the new designation would be in stores beginning in the next few months. The Safer Choice label aims to help with identifying products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance, the EPA said.

When you see a product with the Safer Choice label, it means that every ingredient in the product has been evaluated by EPA scientists according to stringent health and safety standards.

Q: This year, I put up a new patio cover made with acrylic panels.

A rust stain has appeared, and I canít find out how to remove it.

The stain comes from the bracket that holds the electric wires running up the back of our houses.

I contacted the installer of the patio cover, and he has no idea how to remove it.

A: This is an issue Iíve never dealt with before, so I am inviting my ever-helpful readers to chime in with solutions. Please do so.

A few weeks back, I fielded a question from a reader who had mysterious water stains on an interior ceiling.

Virginia reader Keith Weinwurm said he and his wife had a similar problem with water stains on a second-floor bedroom ceiling.

During an annual heating-system maintenance visit, the technician discovered that the stains were caused by condensation from a heating/cooling duct that was lying on the drywall over the bedroom.

The technician redistributed some of the blown-in insulation between the duct and the drywall, which solved the problem.

OK, now hereís a question from me. In late winter, a robin (likely male) perches on my car and those of my neighbors and, in the course of his occupation, does his business.

My neighbors and I know it is a mating thing, but what can be done to deter this fellow?