15 Household Items You Didn’t Know Were Hazardous
Glow-sticks in different forms have been giving absolute delight to kids and adults for many years now. But have you ever wondered what’s inside them and what happens if it breaks down?
The chemical that makes them light up is dibutyl phthalate, which is not lethal itself but requires extra precaution if the glow-stick breaks open. The glowing chemical can irritate skin, eyes, and mouth if accidentally ingested. Special care should be taken for children as they tend to bite stuff all the time. (1, 2)
8 Apple Seeds
A fruit bowl without an apple is incomplete for many of us. But a viral Facebook post ruined the reputation of the beloved fruit, which claimed that “Apple seed has cyanide in them” and “Eating 20 apple cores will kill an adult while eating less can result in paralysis, coma, and brain damage.” This bold statement is partially true.
Apple seeds do contain amygdalin, a compound that produces the deadly gas hydrogen cyanide. Though the seed is protected by a robust outer layer, chewing the seeds exposes them to enzymes in our stomach, which then converts them to cyanide. It is highly unlikely that you will eat enough apple seeds to get yourself in trouble. So, even if you accidentally swallow one, you will be fine. (1, 2)
9Flea and Tick Products
We often use these products for our lovely, furry friends to protect them from unwanted flea bites, but those products have some hidden side effects. There are few toxic chemicals found in flea repellents that can have a really bad effect on people’s health, especially on children.
As kids spend a lot of time with their canine buddies, it makes them vulnerable to amitraz poisoning, known for interfering in normal child development and disrupting the endocrine system. It’s not only dangerous for kids but can be harmful to pets as well.
A popular flea-control product, pennyroyal oil, can cause serious life-threatening situations for dogs and cats and in some cases possibly death. It’s better to check the safety instructions before you buy those products. (1, 2)
10 Furniture Polish
Furniture polishes can give a shiny, fancy look to your old furniture, but sometimes they can also assure a ride to the emergency room. Furniture polish, an item found under the kitchen sink all over the world, is made up of hazardous hydrocarbons.
Experts reported that the composition within liquid furniture polish can poison an individual when they are exposed to it through the air or accidentally ingesting it. A person can lose their vision if it reaches their eye, damage lungs if inhaled, and may they experience skin irritation if it comes in contact with their skin. It is too much risk to take for extra shiny furniture in your room, particularly if kids are around. (1, 2)
11 Raw Kidney Beans
This protein- and fiber-rich food is a popular dish in many countries, but these beans are poisonous in their dry, raw form. Red kidney beans in their raw form contain a type of lectin called phytohaemagglutinin that can destroy stomach cells.
As little as four or five raw red kidney beans can cause diarrhea and vomiting. So, how do you get rid of the toxic chemical? Well, you need to soak them for 12 hours before boiling them for 10 minutes. That is the best way to remove hazardous chemicals from them. (1, 2)
12 Electric Blankets
For some people, winter nights are impossible to survive without an electric blanket. They are an effective method to keep the body warm while sleeping. However, old or damaged electric blankets can cause you some serious problems if not used properly.
A brand new electric blanket has special safety features, such as a rheostat control, which minimizes the risk of fire, whereas older ones may not have the capacity to shut themselves off before they get too hot. So, make sure that your electric blanket is not too old to avoid any kind of issues. (1, 2)
The white candy-looking substance which is composed of either naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene is extensively used by people to protect clothes from moths and other pests. They are actually quite hazardous, especially for young children. Both of those above-mentioned chemicals turn into vapor when exposed to air, exuding a special aroma.
These fumes are toxic in nature for adults, kids, and even pets. People might experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, eye and nose irritation, and coughing after being exposed to naphthalene either by inhaling the fumes for a long period or through ingestion.
In addition to that, these hazardous compounds can cause some serious health issues like hemolytic anemia and kidney damage. To avoid any health complications, mothballs should be used according to the instructions on the package and definitely should be kept away from children’s reach. (1, 2)
14 Dryer Lint
Dryer lint might not look hazardous, but according to the US Fire Administration, dryer lint is responsible for approximately 2,900 house fires every year in the United States of America, leading to millions of dollars of damage. On average, accumulated lint in the filter of dryers causes ten deaths, 360 injuries, and $211 million in property damage every year.
So, how does lint debris result in such a staggering possibility? The slow build-up of lint in the lint trap, as well as in the dryer vent, limits the airflow and drying efficiency. This obstructs the path of the exhaust gases to get out the dryer, which can lead to a hazardous condition, like fire. “Lint is very easy to burn, very flammable, doesn’t allow for adequate airflow,” says Scott Gregory of the Wake Forest Fire.
“You’re working with high temperatures in a dryer, so over time, it doesn’t allow for adequate airflow. So it can’t ever cool down, so it’s just harnessing all of that energy.” Therefore, to minimize the chances of such a fire hazard, it is a good idea to clean the lint filter of your drying machine before and after each laundry. (1, 2)
15 Extension Cords
Extension cords are a popular and very useful accessory today, but many people do not know it’s hidden hazardous properties. For starters, this common workplace commodity is extremely flammable. You will be surprised to know that each year 4,000 injuries, which are treated in hospital emergency rooms, are somehow linked to electric extension cords.
Fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from people tripping over extension cords comprise half of the injuries. An estimated 3,300 home fires are triggered from extension cords each year, taking the lives of 50 people and injuring about 270 more. (1, 2)
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