Research suggests that bynearly one third of all U. However, while many people spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year on security equipment to protect from the dangers outside their home making their way in, many families are remiss when it comes to the myriad dangers already lurking within their walls. In fact, more accidents happen at home than anywhere else, often because of the seemingly innocuous products we use every day.
Before you risk harm to yourself or your family members, make sure you're well-acquainted with these household products that could be dangerous. And when you want to make every part of your house safer, start with the 15 Best Ways to Protect Your Home. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centersthere were 12, calls to poison control for the consumption of Tide Pods in alone. However, it's not just teens taking on a Tide Pod Challenge being harmed.
In fact, according to the AAPCC, in the first two months of alone, there were more than 1, reports of children under five coming into contact with these highly-concentrated formulas, risking respiratory distress, gastrointestinal injury, and eye injuries in the process.
Those non-stick pots and pans in your kitchen may make flipping your omelets easier, but they could also be causing you serious harm in the long run. In fact, research published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that exposure to PFOA, a chemical used in non-stick cookware, is linked to ovarian, kidney, and prostate cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Another study even links the chemical to rapid weight gain. Sure, it gets your hair looking presentable in the morning, but that hair dryer isn't as safe as you think. In addition to causing damage to your hair and making it more susceptible to breakage, hair dryers put users at risk for electric shocks, burns, and electrical issues.
Scarier yet, if dropped into water, like a sink or tub, your hair dryer poses a very real electrocution threat. Humidifiers may help ease some of your more persistent cold and flu symptoms, but they may do more harm than good in the long run. Research published in Pediatrics links the build-up of minerals in a traditional humidifier to lung injury, while an outbreak of respiratory illness in a Korean hospital was linked to the methods used to clean the devices. That new wall-to-wall carpet in your room may be causing more problems than it solves.
While carpeting can muffle sounds and tie a room together, many new carpets are sources of volatile organic compoundsor VOCs, which have been linked to everything from eye irritation to headache to nausea. While the sky-high price of heating oil and cold winters may make space heaters a staple in many homes, they're not as safe as you might think.
In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Agency79 percent of home fire fatalities were related to the use of a space heater. The products you use to make your home smell sweet may be costing you your health. According to research presented by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunologyair fresheners are yet another indoor source of VOCs, and as much as 20 percent of the population experiences health issues from these products.
Your solution for whiter clothes is also poses a serious risk to your health. While bleach ingestion can cause serious internal burns and scarring, and may prove fatal, research also suggests that the regular use of bleach for cleaning can increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. And when you want to make your whole home cleaner, start by ditching The 50 Deadliest Items in Your Home.
Those tiny batteries used in your electronics could be putting both human and furry members of the family at risk.
Due to their small size, button batteries are easily swallowed by both humans and pets, and can cause serious internal injury or even death. Keeping moths out of your clothing may seem like a worthwhile endeavor, but naphthalene-based moth balls may be posing a serious risk to your health, as well. Naphthalene has been linked to respiratory distressheadaches, and nausea, and ingesting a moth ball can cause bleeding in the digestive tract or may obstruct breathing.
That chipping paint on your baseboards may seem like no big deal, but it could be putting your whole household at risk. Most homes built before have some lead-based paint in them, which, if ingested or inhaled, can cause weight loss, headaches, and even brain damage.
Unfortunately, many modern paints can do damage to your health as well, thanks to the VOCs they release into your home.As a rheumatologist, I am often asked why patients have developed a particular autoimmune disease. In fact, the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now monitors a total of environmental chemicals that have been found in humans, including many used in consumer products. These chemicals can gradually build up in the body, potentially making you sick.
Here are 10 items you may want to avoid buying, toss or replace:. Ever wonder why clear plastic containers turn cloudy after running through the dishwasher a few times? Plastic breaks down over time, and this breakdown can release dangerous chemicals into your food. Many plastic containers are made from chemicals including phthalateswhich act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals EDCs.
Switch to glass containers. Heating plastic can release chemicals that seep into your food. Many nonstick pans contain trace amounts of a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid PFOAwhich has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Instead, use cast iron or stainless steel cookware, and natural, non-stick sprays such as olive oil. I never allow artificial air fresheners in my home. Anything you breathe in eventually ends up in your bloodstream.
Common Household Chemicals That Are Dangerous Mixtures
Plug-in scents or synthetically scented candles many contain chemicals called phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive problems.
Instead, choose candles made with essential oils and fresh flowers to scent your home. Avoid perfumes and colognes or switch to products that are scented with natural oils.
Stain blockers essentially create an invisible plastic barrier over your furniture. This plastic will eventually wear off and be released into your home environment. Instead, simply clean stains as necessary rather than trying to prevent them.
Check the labels of cleaning products for chemical ingredients such as phthalates and chemical surfactants. Natural products like baking soda, Borax, soap powder, vinegar, lemon and hot water work just as well without coating your home in toxins. From shampoo to lipstick, the average American woman applies up to 12 personal care items, and the average man up to six, to their skin each day.
That adds up to roughly unique ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Groupa public health advocacy organization. Opt for cosmetics with mineral-based pigments and natural oils. Choose soaps and shampoos free of synthetic fragrances and chemicals such as triclosanwhich has been found in animal studies to alter hormone regulation.
Many antiperspirants use aluminum-based compounds and other chemicals, which are absorbed into the sweat glands. While there are ongoing studies on possible health impacts of antiperspirants, I advise avoiding any chemicals that are absorbed into the body for non-medical purposes.
Research on animals suggests that chemicals in some sunscreens, including oxybenzone, may cause health problems when they penetrate the skin.Many oven and drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide also known as lyea corrosive substance that can cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes.
If inhaled, sodium hydroxide can cause a sore throat that can last for several days. Drain cleaners also contain sodium dioxide and can be hazardous—that's why they come with instructions and warnings, he says. When cleaning with these toxic substances it is important to always wear gloves, and make sure the area is well ventilated, says Becky Turpin, director of Home and Community Safety at the National Safety Council.
Psst : These vinegar cleaning hacks will save you time and money. When it comes to whitening and disinfecting, bleach is a go-to household staple, but bleach itself is also a dangerous substance that can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and even death. Bleach also wreaks havoc on kitchen faucets and surfaces.
These are a kitchen staple, but when they become scarred and ragged from deep cutting with knives, they create a web of fissures that can harbour bacteria and lead to food poisoning. Worn plastic cutting boards are also likely to shed plastic particles that could end up in your food. Aluminum foil has been around for more than years and is an ideal product for wrapping and storing foods, but when aluminum leeches from foil or aluminum pans into our food, it can be potentially harmful.
Sachleben cautions that risk for aluminum exposure increases when you cook acetic foods, such as tomatoes, in an aluminum pot. Many cooks prefer gas cooktops for their quick start, constant flame, and ability to cook food more evenly, but gas appliances, especially if not vented properly, can emit a mix of potentially hazardous chemicals and compounds—nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde—which can worsen various respiratory and other health ailments.
When it comes to the threat of formaldehyde, he says that you are more likely to find higher concentrations of the chemical in some of the foods you eat than from the gas flame on your stove. To ensure safe air quality levels, be sure to use a venting range hood, and never use a gas stove as a heat source. Love to cook on the grill? Don't miss these grilling mistakes that could make you sick. Available in full-strength and in a variety of household cleaning productsammonia in liquid form is an excellent cleanser.
However, despite it's cleaning prowess, it can cause serious health problems if not used properly. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHAammonia is highly toxic and can severely corrode the lungs, eyes, and skin, causing blindness, lung problems, and death. Its pungent odour is highly recognizable, and irritating. We know what's in synthetic cleaners, says Sachleben, but the ingredients in some natural products have not been studied and we don't know the long-term toxicity of the ingredients.
While reputable natural cleaning companies such as Seventh Generation list the ingredients on their labels and work to exclude chemicals with known or suspected toxicities, other companies may claim to be green or natural but still sneak toxic substances in their products.Potentially dangerous chemicals can be found in every room in your home.
If not properly stored or used, these products could cause minor to serious and even life-threatening health problems for you or your children. What are these every day household chemicals?
Keep in mind that most household cleaning products and pesticides are reasonably safe when used as directed, and that the level of toxicity of a product is dependent on the dose of the product used never use more than the amount listed on the label and the length of exposure to the product.
Ethylene glycol, the main hazardous ingredient of antifreeze, is extremely poisonous. Though inhalation of the fumes can causes dizzinessswallowing antifreeze will cause severe damage to the heart, kidneys and brain.
Antifreeze can be fatal if swallowed. Motor oil. Oil contains chemicals that can cause nerve and kidney damage and that are suspected of causing cancer. Latex paint. Unless ingested in large quantities, water-soluble latex paints are not highly toxic. However, some latex paints emit formaldehyde when drying. High levels of formaldehyde can give you a headache and irritate your eyes, nose and throat.
Oil-based paint. Oil-based paint contains organic solvents that can be irritating to eyes and skin, and can cause cracking of skin. Inhaling paint fumes can result in headaches, nauseadizziness and fatigue. Most of these symptoms go away once you go out into fresh air.
However, frequent exposure to these chemicals in the presence of poor air circulation can cause kidney, liver and blood problems. However, when activated, the electrolyte solution in the battery produces explosive gases that can be easily ignited.
Batteries that contain sulfuric acid must be labeled. Sulfuric acid fumes are strongly irritating and contact can cause burning and charring of the skinor blindness if you get it in your eyes.
Lead is poisonous in all forms and accumulates in our bodies and in the environment. Windshield washer fluid. Common chemicals in windshield washer fluid are methanol, ethylene glycol, and isopropanol. Collectively, these products can irritate the lining of your nose, mouth and throat and can cause damage to the nervous system, liver, kidneys, heart and brain.
15 Common Kitchen Items That Are Secretly Toxic
Ingestion can result in drowsiness, unconsciousness and death. Laundry detergents. These products contain enzymes as noted by the names "cationic," "anionic" or "non-ionic" on the label to loosen stains and ground-in dirt. Cationic detergents are the most toxic when taken internally. Ingestion can result in nausea, vomiting, shock, convulsions and coma.
Asthma can develop if a person is exposed to large quantities of detergent. Detergents are also responsible for many household poisonings from accidental swallowing. All-purpose cleaners. There are numerous "all-purpose" cleaning products on the market. Depending on the ingredients used, all-purpose cleaners can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
They can be highly poisonous to both humans and animals if swallowed. Household bleach contains the chemical sodium hypochlorite in different concentrations ranging from 0. These percentages are the amount of the chemical in the liquid; the rest of the liquid is mostly water. Chlorine bleach liquid and vapors can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Dermatitis may result from direct skin contact.You can go to great lengths and spend plenty of money protecting yourself from harmful substances.
Start by banishing the following toxic household products, then swapping for safer options. A set of plastic cutting boards Source: Amazon. Things like E. Some plastic boards also have BPA, which could get in your digestive system as you consume food that was cut on the boards. The fix: Use bamboo or glass cutting boards, which have natural antibacterial properties.
Aluminum foil iStock. But unlike aluminum cookware, which is oxidized, aluminum foil can leach into your food when cooked at a high temperature. Eat This, Not That! The fix: Use parchment paper when wrapping food, and stick with cooking meals in a glass pan or crockpot. Your couch may be more harmful than you think.
Source: iStock. According to Time, some studies associate these chemicals with endocrine disruption and neurotoxic effects. Although the laws received updates in anda lot of furniture still has flame-retardant chemicals. The fix: Time says you should ask your furniture store to skip treating your new couch with stain-repellant and antimicrobials. Using this product? We advise against it. This is an official warning to remove them. Mothballs turn from a solid to vapor over time, so you could breath in toxins pretty regularly.
If you come into contact with large amounts of these chemicals, you may experience nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and eye and nasal irritation. In severe cases, one of the ingredients, naphthalene, can damage or destroy your red blood cells and cause hemolytic anemia. Both toxins are considered possibly carcinogenic, too. Beware of toxic mildew removers. Since scrubbing your shower requires close proximity, Tilex is quite concerning. Consider trying both to see which you like better.We are all aware of the importance of keeping our homes clean and hygienic, but are we equally aware of the knock-on affects our cleaning products could be having on our environment?
Here are a few common household cleaning products that could be doing more harm, in the long run, than good Found in: facewashes, body scrubs, toothpastes, abrasive cleaners.
As they are so minuscule, these tiny pieces of plastic can easily pass water filtration systems and end up in the sea, at great risk to our marine life. A single shower can result inplastic particles entering the ocean. Although the government has announced a ban on all cosmetics containing microbeads by the end of this year, many other household products will still continue to contain them. To be safe, before you purchase a product, always check its ingredients.
For more information visit www. Wet wipes. As they don't dissolve in water the way paper does, wipes should not be flushed down the loo and should, ideally, be the last option when it comes to washing your face or cleaning the house. Wet wipes also typically contain plastics, which can never be dissolved.
Try cleansing with a flannel or instead, or using a fabric cloth. Single use plastics. From disposable cutlery to drinks bottles, bags and food wrapping, plastic is everywhere. And, unless it's been burned, every piece ever made still exists somewhere on our planet - meaning that up to It's difficult to eschew all plastic given that so much food comes packaged in it, but small changes such as bringing your own bags to the supermarket, or shopping at local farm shops could make a big difference.
Sign the petition for a plastic free supermarket aisle here: aplasticplanet. Antibacterial gels and soaps. Killing The use of antibacterial hand gels is causing the rise of antibiotic resistant 'super-bugs' as well as interfering with immune system development in children. Many studies have proven that clean is better than germ-free. Those exposed to some level of germs have typically stronger immune systems than those who grow up in overly sanitised environments.We pride ourselves on being your source for the best, scientifically-accurate advice for healthy living.
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This article contains references to scientific journals and peer-reviewed research. The numbers in brackets correspond with the list of references at the end of the article. Reviewed and Approved. Additionally, the Reviewed and Approved seal signifies that our scientific board of experts has double-checked this article for accuracy. You can feel confident in knowing that the information within this article is sound.
Did you know that every day in your home you come in contact with toxic and hazardous chemicals? Air fresheners are a prime example. Air fresheners can work by interfering with your sense of smell by coating your nasal passages with an oily film, or they can contain nerve-numbing agents.
Information published in a issue of The Journal of Toxicological Sciences concluded that air fresheners are a source of volatile organic compounds VOCs in indoor environments. They also contain ultrafine particles and formaldehyde which may cause sensory irritation, respiratory dysfunction, and other serious concerns. At that point, it's too late.
Ammonia is found in a variety of household cleaners — kitchen, bathroom, floor, oven, glass, and polishers. The U. Ammonia is irritating to the respiratory tract and causes coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Higher exposure can cause pulmonary edema, a life-threatening issue. Ammonia is not the only hazardous ingredient in household cleaners.
Drain and oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide lye. Lye is corrosive and a strong irritant to both skin and eyes. Toilet bowl cleaners often contain hydrochloric acid, which is corrosive and will seriously damage any tissue it touches, irreversible damage. Never mix hydrochloric acid-containing products with bleach as it will produce toxic gas!
When buying household cleaners, read the labels. Pay attention if they say "danger" or "corrosive. Read them and make sure you know what you are about to buy and exactly how, and how not, to handle it! Most dishwashing detergents contain chlorine in a dry, concentrated form. Those little dishwasher packets usually have bright colors and have been mistaken for candy by many a curious child.
The similar-looking laundry detergent packages have also become a concern. From January through Decemberpoison control centers in the U.