Everyday Items That Pose Unexpected Dangers
Home is the one place in the world that we should feel safe. We want to feel like our loved ones, our children, and our animals can enter our private space without fear. Fair enough! But what about regular household items that look innocent, that we ourselves buy at the store, that no one tells us has potential for danger?
Fear not, this is why I’m here dear reader! No one should have to carry that kind of home-bound burden. Read on to learn more about your household items that have potential to be dangerous. Some of them may shock you!
Do not overuse air fresheners
Air fresheners are pretty common around the home but most of us are blissfully unaware about the potential dangers that come with deodorizing our home. Apparently, overuse can lead to the chemicals in the fresherher to enter into your bloodstream.
The chemical in question, 1.4-DCB, can be found in both air freshener and mothballs. Scientists have linked people with this chemical in their blood with a higher chance of having lung issues, with some even leading to lung cancer.
Non-stick pots and frying pans can lead to “Teflon Flu”
There is no doubt about it, non-stick definitely makes life a bit easier when it comes to cooking and cleaning. For one, you can use less oil in your food and there is the added benefit of a more neat clean-up devoid of excess build-up.
But, and it is quite a large but, these kitchenware items are coated with a substance allied “Teflon.” When heated, it lets off fumes that you then in turn breathe when you cook. This can make you sick, with some people even experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Throw out granny’s mothballs
Mothballs have been on the decline recently, however some people still use them to keep their closets smelling fresh and the moths away. All of this sounds great, but for those of you with children please heed this warning.
Mothballs have been responsible for small children choking, mistaking them for small candy or mints. Furthermore, the active chemicals in mothballs are dangerous and can lead to organ damage or death.
Flea and tick products can harm more than just bugs
Studies have shown that giving cats and dogs topical flea and tick medicine can be toxic for more than just your beloved pets. Sadly, there have been links to cancer in dogs, and in cats Pyrethrin and Pyrethroid Toxicity.
All of this to say, when choosing flea and tick medicine for your pet, make sure to do your research. You don’t want to make a bad situation worse with improper medicine.
Unless trained, stayed away from snowblowers
Buying a snowblower seems like one of those moments in domestic life that one might finally reach, a medal of adulthood. Who wouldn’t want to calendar their walkways with ease? Well, the Amputee Coalition argues a very compelling case.
According to the experts, if you want to keep all of your ten fingers and toes, this is a surefire way to do so. Between 2003 and 2016, over 9,000 people lost at least one finger while snowblowing.
Cost and risk of ambiance: candle edition
Candles are a great way to liven up a home. They smell good, they bring a nice warmth to any room, and they add a little extra warmth. But, like most good things, they come with a price tag if you’re not careful.
This is by no means to make you afraid of a little ambiance, but I think it’s important to have the facts. According to the National Fire Protection Association an average of 23 people suffer from a fire-related injury or death a day. So next time you leave a room, be sure to blow that candle out.
Furniture polish and stain
If you haven’t heard this advice before, you’re hearing it now. When polishing or staining your furniture, be sure to do so outside. These materials let off toxic fumes that are incredibly bad for your health.
On top of this, they are also quite flammable. To make sure you’re operating safely, be sure to do all staining and polishing in a temperature controlled environment.
Your child’s stuffed animal
If you have young children who enjoy their stuffed animals, take this as a sign to start washing them on a regular basis. Stuffed animals tend to get dirty while being carried around by young kiddos and eventually become little bacteria farms.
Studies have also shown that pesticides from farming areas can get settled onto the plush toys, which can lead to illness in your child who is keeping them close.
Paint from buildings pre-1978
If you live in a building that was built before 1978, there is a higher chance that you are living in a place that was painted with lead paint. If you begin to see the paint starting to peel and flake off, you may have a problem in your hands.
Lead has been linked to issues such as organ failure, and in worst case scenaries, death. If you have children, this should be an even greater cause of alarm. If you are aware that your home was painted with lead based paint, the safest thing to do is have it removed and repainted with non-lead-based-paint.
Extension cords and housefires
Most people have an extension cord in their home, what can we say? They are handy as heck! But you know what I’m going to say: we’ve got warnings from professionals that deserve to be heeded.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, roughly 3,300 cases of house fires are caused by extension cords every single year. That’s a pretty large number for something so seemingly innocent!
Wood stoves and breathing issues
There is something indescribably cozy about a wood stove, so the urge to install one is completely understandable. But, as we’ve learned with candles, the ambiance can come with a price.
The American Lung Association says that wood stoves are a huge contributing factor to asthma! So if you or anyone in your household has wood stoves, beware.
Plants that harm your pet
Who doesn’t love a good houseplant? Or to line your backyard, patio, or front door with some oxygen giving plants? Unless you’re like the old me (meaning a serial plant killer–I’ve reformed, I swear!) and you have a love of greens, you’d be wise to listen up.
If your cat lives indoors, or your dog is indoors often, a natural curiosity for their surroundings is bound to occur. Always do your research on plants that you bring into the home. Another note is to be familiar with pesticides and plant foods that might linger in the air.
Old pillows, be gone!
We tend to keep pillows as long as they’re hanging on. After all, why not? It seems natural to hold onto an object that seems to still function! Sure, it looks stained and gross with no pillowcase, but that’s an easy fix…right? Wrong.
Researchers did tests on pillows aged 1.5 to 20 years old and found that each one contained fungi that are damaging to your health. Older pillows can cause asthma, allergies, and breathing problems. The problem was even worse in down pillows.
Real Christmas tree fires
Yet another fire hazard from one of our favorite home comforts. The thrill of a well-decorated christmas tree, finely wrapped presents beneath–it’s hard to resist!
But there is a caveat that we all must be careful about and that is fire! Within the United States, an average of 170 houses catch fire a year. That’s excluding the amount of trees that catch and are put out before disaster!
Electric blanket burns
Hot blankets offer the warm and cozy feeling we all crave on a cold winter day. But of course, this item would not be on the list if it didn’t care about some sort of dire risk that we all need to avoid.
Say you accidentally fall asleep, which frankly is easy to do given how warm and comfy those blankets are. You put yourself at risk for a burn. Not to mention forgetting to put it away and keeping it plugged in, which may result in a fire.
Maybe jump off that trampoline
Trampolines are in the collective consciousness of many childhoods. They’re fun and active ways for kiddos to get some cardio. However, they are so dangerous, that if an insurance company catches wind of one in your backyard, they will deny you coverage!
Each year, about 240,000 people get serious injuries from jumping on a trampoline in their own backyard. Hopefully they had insurance!
Space heaters and you guessed it…fire
We are seeing a theme here, now aren’t we! This one may come as no surprise to many of us space heater enthusiasts–space heaters can heat the space maybe a little too much.
We certainly don’t want to make light of this and most definitely want people to be prepared for the risks. Space heaters account for 78% of injuries and 86% of heating-related deaths. Don’t leave them overnight or when no one is home.
This one definitely comes as a surprise (at least to me!) but yes, flour is in fact flammable! Considered by experts to be “combustible dust” you are advised to be careful in your kitchen.
Fortunately, the only way for it to burst into flames is for it to come into direct contact with flames, so as long as you steer clear of the gas stove, you should be just fine.
Loofah’s dirty secret
A loofah never completely dries out. They are always a little damp and with consistent dampness comes mold and gross bacteria. Then you grab this moldy sponge and rub it against your body!
Essentially, you’ve given bacteria a one class ticket into your pores which can result in breakouts and rashes. Make sure you buy new loofahs regularly or just switch to topical scrubs instead.
Old batteries are a no-go
We like to keep old batteries around on the off chance that one day all of our savings will be met with an “a-ha” moment. The remote doesn’t work! But wait!
Unfortunately, this is very dangerou.s Battery acid is incredibly corrosive and once an old battery begins to leak, you’re jeopardizing your skin and lining yourself up for an emergency room visit.
Certain hand sanitizers
Having lived through one of the wildest times of the century, I’m sure we are all more acclimated to hand sanitizer than we’d like to be. But such is the times. With that being said, the global pandemic gave way to a lot of hand sanitizer start-ups who jumped at a new opportunity.
Some of these hand sanitizers contain chemicals that are known cancer-causers. A way to get around this is to check up on the FDA website and see which brands are on the toxic list.
Prescriptions get a bad rap and not without reason. They are expensive! The tendency to keep them around is a frugal choice, as well as being ready for whatever ailment might crop up. But there are consequences.
According to the FDA, drugs can become more potent over time and no longer suit your medical needs. Taking them can also make you sick. Be careful!
Toothpaste for kiddos
Toothpaste is essential to keeping healthy gums and teeth, but a child getting ahold of a tube of toothpaste is a whole other problem and should be avoided at all costs.
If swallowed in large portions, the fluoride in the paste can lead to issues involving an upset stomach. I won’t get into the nitty gritty, but I think you catch my drift. For children, it’s best to go with fluoride free toothpaste.
Over time, banisters become loose and we don’t really take into account what this have dangerous outcomes for adults and children alike.
Not to mention children like to stick their heads in between them. According to the AARP, children are brought into the emergency room every six minutes with injuries that are related to injuries caused by playing on the stairs.
If there is one take away from this article, it is that if there is potential for danger, children will discover it. Trashbags run the risk of suffocating a child, and this is not a small occurrence.
A poll showed that Mississippi is the number one state out of 50 that has the highest chance of suffocation. Ironically, Mississippi also polled as “least concerned” about suffocation. Mississippi if you’re reading this, be concerned!
Poisoning is the second cause of accidental household deaths. That is a scary statistic! Especially because it is such a common household item for those who like to swim, have a pool, or take our kids to one.
In fact, according to the CDC, chlorine is one of the top chemicals that children accidentally consume, thereby poisoning themselves. Be sure to keep chemicals far out of reach of children.
Pressure washers are great because they make it so easy to get the grime off of cars, sidewalks, house sidings, you name it! But they can also be super dangerous.
While some people may not see the threat initially (it’s just water, right?) it can cause pretty intense damage to your tissues. This can lead to infection and damage. Never let children play with these water blasters, either.
Lighters and matches
This may seem obvious but the statistics are quite unsettling. The number one cause of kid-related house fires are caused by children left alone with lighters and matches.
After seeing their parents play with lighters and matches, kids want to too! The most common rooms for this to happen are the living room or the child’s own bedroom.
Make sure you know all the safety precautions before you fire up that grill! Having a fire hydrant nearby is absolutely crucial and putting the coals out once done is another precaution that cannot be stressed enough.
Around 17,000 people experience serious injuries from grills every year. Charcoal remains hot for a very long time, user beware.