AwarenessHealth

15 household items you didn’t know were dangerous

Many people consider the home to be a safe place where you can hide from any danger. However, some of the household items we use every day can prove wrong. Many people must be taken to emergency rooms each year due to ignoring instruction labels or warning signs before using a household item that needs special care. The following list will shed some light on the products in your home that, surprisingly, can be dangerous to you.

1- Toothpaste

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Fluoride content in toothpaste.

This might come as a surprise to all of you because toothpaste is probably one of the most used household products. A cause for concern is the fluoride content of your toothpaste. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also advises people to contact a poison control center if anyone has swallowed more than prescribed, especially children.

Attractive artificial flavors put children at risk of developing a habit of swallowing extra toothpaste. Although it does not cause death, acute fluoride poisoning is not uncommon. There have been cases where fluoride poisoning caused stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and flu-like symptoms.

According to some other reports, people have complained of perioral dermatitis, which is a roseola-like rash around the corners of the mouth due to the ingestion of fluoride in toothpaste. Therefore, do not forget to check if the children in your house are using the right amount.

2- Leaves of Philodendrons

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Philodendrons.

Philodendrons are a popular choice for houseplants, thanks to their ability to thrive indoors with minimal care. However the bad news comes, it is also dangerous for certain age groups.

Well, most adults have nothing to worry about, but it’s a different story for kids and pets. If cats or dogs chew on the leaves of the plant, they may 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 small, needle-like structures. These small structures can be a source of mechanical injury, painful microtrauma, and swelling if the plant is chewed or the sap comes in contact with the skin or eyes.

Children may experience similar symptoms after chewing them, including some serious ones such as blisters and severe swelling inside the mouth, which may affect their ability to swallow.

3- Cherry pits

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Cherry Pits.

We all love eating fresh red cherries that are full of nutrients, right? But be sure to get rid of the pit, also known as the stone, which is hidden inside the fruit.

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

The good news is that it is not easy to get sick after eating cherry pits. Normally, the pits are indigestible, so they will be eliminated via the intestines into the toilet. If you don’t crush the hole with your teeth, you’ll be fine.

4- Non-stick cookware

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Non-stick Cookware.

Non-stick cookware is a perfect alternative for people who hate to throw away burnt food from their lunch. But experts believe that this convenience may make you slowly sick.

The surface of non-stick cookware is coated with Teflon, which in and of itself isn’t much of a concern. If you eat a few chips, they will be eliminated through your digestive system.

The problem begins when Teflon decomposes at temperatures of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, releasing toxic gases that can 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 frying pan is very high. According to research, if you leave a Teflon-coated pan on for eight minutes on a high heat, it can reach 750 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to these dangerous effects, there is another reason to avoid non-stick cookware.

The chemical PFOA used in Teflon products can affect the body’s endocrine system, making it a poor choice for pregnant women to use in the kitchen. With these risk factors in mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to replace your nonstick cookware with something safer.

5- Air fresheners

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Air Fresheners.

Our nostrils encounter different scents of air fresheners all the time in homes, offices, public places, restrooms, and even in taxis. But did you realize that this sweet scent can pose a potential health risk?

According to researchers, a quarter of the ingredients used in air fresheners fall under the category of toxic and hazardous substances, which are easily absorbed by the body through breathing.

Phthalates are one of the common chemicals found in air fresheners, and they are known for their ability to alter the hormonal balance that causes birth defects and reproductive problems when inhaled over time.

6- Single-use Laundry Pods 

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Laundry Pods.

If you have children at home, you should be extra careful with single-use laundry capsules, which are very useful when it comes to washing clothes but pose a risk to children’s health.

While a little bit of washing powder might give babies some tummy troubles, laundry capsules pose more serious risks. Scientists reported in 2016, that children who accidentally put laundry capsules in their mouths faced more serious health complications such as coma and pulmonary edema than those who ingested other types of laundry detergent.

Although the reasons behind these fatal symptoms are not clear to scientists, the danger related to antlers should be taken very seriously.

7- Glow-sticks

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Glow-sticks.

Glows in different shapes have been giving absolute fun to kids and adults for many years now. But have you ever wondered what’s inside it and what happens if it breaks?

The chemical that makes it light up is dibutyl phthalate, which is not fatal in and of itself but requires extra caution if your glow stick breaks open. The glowing chemical can irritate the skin, eyes, and mouth if ingested by mistake. Special care should be given to babies as they tend to bite things all the time.

8- Apple seeds

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Apple Seeds.

For many of us, the fruit bowl is without the apple. But a viral post on Facebook ruined the beloved fruit’s reputation, claiming that “apple seeds contain cyanide” and that “eating 20 apple cores will kill an adult while eating less can lead to paralysis, coma, and brain damage.” This bold statement is partly true.

Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a compound that produces deadly hydrogen cyanide gas. Although the seeds are protected by a tough outer layer, chewing the seeds exposes them to enzymes in our stomachs, which then convert them to cyanide. It is highly unlikely that you would eat enough apple seeds to get yourself into trouble. So, even if you accidentally swallow one, you’ll be fine.

9- Flea and tick products

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Flea and Tick Products.

We often use these products on our beloved furry friends to protect them from unwanted flea bites, but these 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.

Because children spend so much time with their canine companions, it makes them vulnerable to amitraz poisoning, which is known to interfere with a child’s normal development and disrupt the endocrine system. Not only is it dangerous for children, but it can also be harmful to pets.

A common flea control product, horse oil, can cause serious and life-threatening situations for dogs and cats and in some cases even death. It is best to check the safety instructions before purchasing these products.

10- Furniture polish

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Furniture Polish.

Furniture polishes can give your old furniture a shiny, luxurious look, but sometimes they can also guarantee a trip to the emergency room. Furniture polish, an item found under the kitchen sink all over the world, is composed of dangerous hydrocarbons.

Experts report that the composition within liquid furniture polish can be poisonous to an individual when exposed to it through the air or accidentally swallowed. A person can lose their sight if it gets into their eyes, damage their lungs if they are inhaled, and may experience skin irritation if they come into contact with their skin. It is risky to put up with extra bright furniture in your room, especially if children are around.

11- Raw kidney beans

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Raw Kidney Beans.

This protein- and fiber-rich food is a popular dish in many countries, but these beans are toxic in their dry, raw form. In their raw form, red kidney beans contain a type of lectin called phytohaemagglutinin that can destroy stomach cells.

As few as four or five raw red beans can cause diarrhea and vomiting. So, how do you get rid of the toxic chemical? Well, you need to soak it for 12 hours before boiling it for 10 minutes. This is the best way to remove dangerous chemicals from them.

12- electric blankets

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Electric Blankets.

For some people, it’s impossible to get through winter nights without an electric blanket. It is an effective way to keep the body warm while sleeping. However, old or damaged electric blankets can cause you some serious problems if not used properly.

A newer electric blanket has special safety features, such as anti-rheostat control, that reduce the risk of fire, whereas an old blanket may not be able to shut itself off before it overheats. So, make sure that your electric blanket is not too old to avoid any kind of problem.

13– Mothballs

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Mothballs

The white candy-like substance consisting of naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene is widely used by people to protect clothes from moths and other pests. It is actually very dangerous, especially for young children. Both of the above chemicals turn into vapor when exposed to air, which exudes a special scent.

These fumes are inherently toxic to adults, children, and even pets. People may experience symptoms such as headache, nausea, eye and nose irritation, and cough after exposure to naphthalene either through prolonged inhalation of fumes or through ingestion.

In addition, these dangerous compounds can cause some serious health issues such as hemolytic anemia and kidney damage. To avoid any health complications, mothballs must be used according to the instructions on the packaging and certainly they must be kept out of the reach of children.

14- Dryer Lint

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Dryer Lint.

Dryer lint may not sound dangerous, but according to the US Fire Administration, dryer lint is responsible for approximately 2,900 home fires each year in the USA, resulting in millions of dollars in damages. On average, lint accumulated in the filter of dryers causes ten deaths, 360 injuries, and $211 million in property damage each year.

So how does lint debris produce such an amazing possibility? The slow build-up of lint in the lint trap, as well as in the dryer vent, limits airflow and drying efficiency. This obstructs the path of the exhaust gases to exit the dryer, which can lead to a hazardous situation, such as a fire. “Lint is very easy to burn, is very flammable, and doesn’t allow enough airflow,” says Scott Gregory of Wake Forest Fire.

“You’re working at high temperatures in a dryer, so over time, it doesn’t allow enough airflow. So it can never cool down, so it’s just harnessing all that energy.” Therefore, to reduce the chances of such a fire hazard, it is best to clean the lint filter in the tumble dryer before and after each wash.

15- Extension Cords

15 household items you didn't know were dangerous
Extension Cords.

Extension cords are a very popular and useful accessory today, but not many people know about their hidden dangerous properties. For starters, this common workplace commodity is highly flammable. You would be surprised to know that every year 4,000 injuries, which are treated in hospital emergency rooms, are somehow connected to electrical extension cords.

Fractures, lacerations, bruises or sprains from people tripping over extension cords account for half of the injuries. It is estimated that 3,300 home fires start from extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others.

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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