Some of the most dangerous products on the market may be stored in your kitchen cabinets. Some household cleaners and chemicals can be deadly when consumed, or cause serious injury when used improperly. Check your home for these dangerous household products and make sure you are storing them safely away from children and pets.
1. Air Fresheners – While they may improve the quality of the air in your home, air fresheners can permanently affect your sense of smell as they release a nerve-deadening agent into the air. Air fresheners often contain formaldehyde and phenol, which can cause skin to burn, peel, or break out in hives on contact.
2. Ammonia – A common, all-purpose household cleaner, ammonia has been linked to kidney and liver damage. The fumes are also harmful to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Ammonia can irritate your skin if handled without rubber gloves.
3. Bleach – Another all-purpose cleaner and sanitizer, bleach is a powerful, corrosive oxidizer and has been known to irritate and burn skin, eyes, and the respiratory tract. Vapors from bleach can create fluid in the lungs, which may result in coma or death.
4. Non-stick Cookware – Teflon pots and pans are coated with a non-stick substance called polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE. As the pan begins to heat up, the PTFE releases toxic fumes that have been linked to cancer, reproductive damage, organ failure, and other harmful effects. If you must use non-stick pans, use low or medium heat to keep the PTFE from getting hot enough to become deadly!
5. Flame Retardant Materials – Some mattresses, couches, carpet padding, and other fire-resistant household items contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), which has been known to accumulate in blood, breast milk, and fatty tissues in the body. PBDE has been linked to liver, thyroid, and neuro-developmental injury.
6. Drain Cleaners – Many drain cleaners contain lye, hydrochloric acid, or trichloroethane. All of these chemicals are powerful corrosives and will damage your stomach, liver, kidneys, and digestive tract if ingested.
7. Furniture Polish – Many common furniture polishes contain nitrobenzene, which is extremely toxic. This deadly chemical is easily absorbed through the skin and has been known to cause skin discoloration, labored breathing, vomiting, and death. Long-term exposure to this chemical can cause birth defects, cancer, and damage to the liver, kidneys, heart, and central nervous system.
8. Mold/Mildew Cleaner – These cleaners often contain sodium hypochlorite, a deadly corrosive that releases harmful fumes and irritates the skin and eyes. It can also cause fluid in the lungs, which can result in coma or death. Formaldehyde, another toxic component of mold and mildew cleaners, can cause nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, memory loss, and shortness of breath if inhaled.
9. Oven Cleaner – The harmful effects of oven cleaners can linger for weeks after use. Most oven cleaners contain lye, which has a number of damaging effects. The cleaners often come in aerosol spray containers which spray thousands of tiny droplets of ammonia or lye into the air. These droplets can seriously burn your skin and eyes and may cause severe tissue damage if inhaled or swallowed.
10. Toilet Bowl Cleaner – These cleaners often contain several harmful chemicals, including hydrochloric acid and bleach. Long-term use and inhalation can result in fluid in the lungs, which may lead to coma or death. Contact with the skin or eyes can cause severe burns or permanent damage.
It is important to always read the labels on the products you are buying and bringing into your household. You can also look for natural or herbal cleaners that are usually just as effective as their harmful counterparts. Products that contain dangerous chemicals should be stored away from children and pets, in a cabinet or closet that can be locked.
If you or a loved one has been injured because someone neglected to store these products safely, you can discuss your options for filing a personal injury claim with an experienced personal injury attorney.