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15 Household Items You Didn’t Know Were Hazardous

Hazardous household items

Many people consider home as a safe place where you can take shelter from any danger. However, certain household items we use every day can prove that to be wrong. Numerous people have to be rushed to emergency rooms every year because of ignoring the instruction labels or warning signs before using a household item that needs special care. The following list will shed some light on the products at your house, which surprisingly, can be hazardous for you.

1.Toothpaste

Fluoride content in toothpaste
Fluoride content in toothpaste.

This might come as a surprise for you all as toothpaste is probably one of the most used household products. The reason for worry is the fluoride content in your toothpaste. The FDA also advises people to contact the poison control center if anyone swallows more than prescribed, especially kids.

Appealing artificial flavors put children at risk of developing the habit of swallowing extra toothpaste. Although it does not cause fatality, acute fluoride poisoning is not rare. There are cases where fluoride poisoning caused gastric pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms.

According to some other reports, people have complained of perioral dermatitis, a rosacea-like skin rash around the corners of the mouth because of ingesting fluoride in toothpaste.  So, don’t forget to check if the kids at your house are using the right amount. (1, 2)

2. Leaves of Philodendrons

Philodendrons
Philodendrons.

Philodendrons are quite a common choice of house plant, thanks to their ability to thrive indoors with minimal care. Here comes the bad news though, they are also hazardous for certain age groups.

Well, most adults have nothing to worry about, but it’s not the same for kids and pets. If cats or dogs chew on the leaves of the plant, they might experience irritation inside their mouth, excessive drooling, nausea, and difficulty swallowing.

The leaves of the plant contain calcium oxalate- a compound known to cause toxicity when the plant is mishandled or ingested. These oxalates form “Raphides,” which are tiny, needle-like structures. These tiny structures can be the source of mechanical injury, painful microtrauma, and swelling if the plant is chewed or the sap comes in contact with skin or eyes.

Kids might face similar symptoms after chewing it, including some serious ones like blisters and severe swelling inside the mouth, which might affect their ability to swallow. (1, 2)

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3. Cherry Pits 

Cherry Pits
Cherry Pits.

We all love having fresh, red cherries packed with nutrition, don’t we? But make sure to throw away the pit, also known as the stone, which is hidden inside the fruit.

The pit contains a compound called cyanogenic glycoside, which is converted to trace amounts of cyanide by our body. Cherries are not the only fruit that can be blamed for this. Other stone fruits such as apricots, plums, peaches, and mangoes also have the same chemical composition in their pits, but the pits of cherries are quite smaller and can be swallowed easily compared to the others.

The good news is it’s not easy to get sick after consuming cherry pits. Usually, the pits are not digestible, so they will be flushed away by your intestine into the toilet. If you don’t crush the pit with your teeth, you will be fine. (1, 2)

4. Non-stick Cookware 

Non-stick Cookware 
Non-stick Cookware.

Non-stick cookware is a perfect alternative for people who hate to scrape off burnt food from lunch. But experts believe that this comfort might be slowly making you sick.

The surface of non-stick cookware is coated with Teflon, which itself is not a big concern. If you eat a few flakes, it will get flushed out through your digestive tract.

The problem starts when the Teflon degrades at up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, to release toxic gases that have the potential to cause polymer fume fever, a condition in which patients experience a high fever, shortness of breath, and weakness.

The risk of exposure to such toxic gas from a non-stick pan is quite high. According to research, if a Teflon-coated pan is left for eight minutes at a high temperature, it can reach 750 F. In addition to these hazardous effects, there is one more reason to avoid the non-stick cookware.

The chemical PFOA, used in Teflon products can influence the body’s endocrine system, making it a bad option for kitchen use by pregnant women.  Keeping these risk factors in mind, it would not be a terrible idea to replace Non-stick cookware with something safer. (1, 2)

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5. Air Fresheners 

Air Fresheners 
Air Fresheners.

Our nostrils encounter different fragrances of air fresheners all the time at homes, offices, public spaces, restrooms, and even in taxis. But are you aware that this beautiful aroma can be a potential health hazard?

According to researchers, one-quarter of the ingredients used in air-fresheners comes under the category of toxic and hazardous materials, which are easily absorbed by our body through breathing.

One of the common chemicals found in air freshener is phthalates, known to alter the hormonal balance causing birth defects and reproductive issues when inhaled over a course of time. (1, 2)

 6.Single-use Laundry Pods 

Laundry Pods 
Laundry Pods.

If you have kids at home, you should be more careful with single-use laundry pods, which are quite useful when it comes to washing clothes but are a danger to kids’ health.

While ingesting a bit of washing powder might give children a few tummy issues, laundry pods pose more serious risks. Scientists reported in 2016, that children who accidentally put laundry pods in their mouth faced more serious health complications like coma and pulmonary edema than those who ate other types of laundry detergent.

Although the reasons behind these deadly symptoms are not clear to  scientists, the danger related to pods should be taken seriously. (1, 2)

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