Common household chemical products such as detergents, cleaners, paint, pesticides, and auto care products contain toxic ingredients or chemicals that can result in environmental pollution and this can compromise one’s health. Household chemical products can cause diseases and even might result in death.
Dangerous chemical or harmful chemicals that are hazardous to one’s health are found in every area of our compounds. If these dangerous chemicals are not properly stored, it can cause some dangerous disease conditions which can be life-threatening.
COMMON HOUSEHOLD CHEMICAL PRODUCTS AND THEIR EFFECTS
Laundry detergents are products that contain enzymes that are used to erase stains. Asthma can be developed when a person is exposed to large quantities of laundry detergents. Cationic detergents are very dangerous to one’s health when accidentally ingested. It can cause shock, nausea, vomiting, convulsion and it can also result in coma. Non-ionic detergents are less dangerous unlike cationic detergents that are very dangerous. However, non-ionic detergents can irritate the eyes and the skins.
These products are usually made up of detergents, solvents and grease-cutting agents. Multipurpose cleaners contain the following ingredients such as ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate, ammonia, trisodium phosphate, and sodium hypochlorite. However, depending on the chemical used, multipurpose cleaners can causes, irritate in the nose, throat, eyes, and skin. Multipurpose cleaners are highly hazardous to one’s health when ingested.
Household bleach contains chemical hypochlorite in different concentrations. Chlorine bleach used in bleaching clothes can irritate one’s nose, eyes, throat, and skin. When this bleach has direct contact with the skin, it can lead to dermatitis. When ingested it can cause stomach injury, prolonged nausea, vomiting, and esophageal injury.
Avoid mixing chlorine bleach with any other household cleaning agents especially ammonia. Adding ammonia with household bleach can result in the release of poisonous gas, which can cause difficulties in breathing.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING DETERGENT, MULTIPURPOSE CLEANERS
Always wear rubber gloves in other to protect your skin when working with multipurpose cleaners. Avoid staying in an airtight environment when using detergents, multipurpose cleaners, and bleach. Never mix two different cleaners together especially products containing ammonia and chlorine bleach. The mixture of these two chemicals can result in the production of poisonous gas called chloramines. When this gas is inhaled in large quantities, there will be difficulty in breathing.
Antifreeze which is used to clean up in the garage contains hazardous ingredients known as ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is an extremely poisonous gas which when inhaled can cause dizziness. When ingested it can result in severe damage to the brain, kidneys, and even the heart.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING ANTIFREEZE
When using antifreeze for cleaning up, always wear hand gloves because ethylene glycol can be absorbed through the skin. Also, when using antifreeze keep pets away because the sweet scent tends to attract pets. However, drinking or linking the fluid is dangerous to pets as this might result in death.
Water soluble latex paints are not very toxic. However, when ingested in large quantities might be dangerous to one’s health. Also, some latex paints emit formaldehyde when drying. Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical. It can also cause skin irritants thereby irritating the nose, eyes and throat. When high quantities of formaldehyde are been inhaled or ingested it can cause a serious headache.
Waste motor oil or used oil is likely to be contaminated with copper, zinc, magnesium and any form of heavy metals that is likely to be deposited from the vehicle engine. When these chemicals come in contact with the skin, it could be very dangerous to one’s health. It can cause kidney and nerve damage.
OIL BASED PAINT
Oil-based paint contains an organic chemical that can cause eyes and skin irritation. When paint fumes are inhaled, it can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. However, most of these symptoms are not seen again after getting fresh air. When using oil based paint, it should be used in a well ventilated environment.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING LATEX PAINT, MOTOR OIL, AND OIL BASED PAINT
When using latex paint, motor oil and oil based paint, always do this in a place that is well ventilated. However, when using this at home remember to keep the fan on, and the door and windows open. Always keep the paint cans away from your house and keep children away from it as frequent exposure to this chemical can cause blood, kidney and liver disease.
Insecticides contain dangerous chemicals. These chemical are dangerous to one’s health when inhaled or ingested. It can cause dizziness, nausea, and headache. Dangerous chemicals that are present in insecticides include Permethrin, propoxur, chlorpyrifos, and diazinon.
TICK AND PET FLEA TREATMENTS
Tick and pet flea treatment usually contain some certain chemicals which can be dangerous to one’s health. These chemicals include fipronil, methoprene, pyrethrins, and imidacloprid. When these chemicals are inhaled or ingested, it can cause dizziness, nausea, and even headache.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING INSECTICIDES AND TICK AND PET FLEA TREATMENTS
When using insecticides and tick and pet flea treatment at home, always make sure you wear a hand glove and also avoid getting it in contact with your kitchen utensils. When using tick and pet flea treatment on your pets always make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and avoid petting them at that period of time.
Oven cleaners contain an ingredient called Lye. Lye is a corrosive chemical which can causes damage to one’s skin and eyes when used. Lye consists of potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide. When lye is ingested or inhaled it can causes serious tissue damage.
The main ingredient in hand dishwasher and automatic dishwasher detergent is phosphate. Hand dishwasher detergents are less hazardous to one’s health than automatic dishwasher. Automatic dishwasher detergents are dangerous to one’s health when accidentally swallowed. They may result to irritation by irritating the throat, mouth and nausea.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING OVEN CLEANER AND DISHWASHER DETERGENT
When working with oven cleaner and dishwasher detergents always put on an apron, safety goggles and hand gloves. Avoid inhaling the fumes when using it. Also, instead of using lye to clean your oven better still get a non-toxic oven cleaner. Always look at the label contents before getting oven cleaner and dishwasher detergents and go for less harmful ones.
MOLD AND MILDEW REMOVERS
Mold and mildew remover is used to get rid of mold and mildew in the bathroom. However, the major chemicals found in the mold and mildew remover are chlorine and alkyl ammonium chlorides which are dangerous chemicals. When inhaled, it can cause serious breathing problems and when accidentally ingested it can burn one’s throat
TOILET BOWL CLEANERS
Toilet bowl cleaners are used as a disinfectant in the toilet. The toilet cleaners contain chemicals that can irritate one’s eyes and skin. When these chemical are ingested it can burn one’s throat. These chemicals can be hydrochloric acid (HCL), or bleach or sodium hypochlorite. Also, never mix toilet bowl cleaner with any other cleaning products as this may result to the release of toxic gas and can lead to difficulty in breathing.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING MOLD AND MILDEW REMOVER AND TOILET BOWL CLEANERS
Always wear hand gloves when using mold and mildew remover to prevent it from getting on your skin. If accidentally get on your skin, wash away immediately.
When using toilet bowl cleaners, avoid staying in poor ventilated environment. Make sure the windows and the doors are well open. Wear a hand gloves when using this cleaner to prevent it from getting on your skin. However, if accidentally splashed on your skin, wash away immediately.
Antibacterial cleaners often contain a fragrance, a surfactant, a pesticide and water. The pesticides which are usually used in antibacterial cleaners are phenolic chemicals or quarternary ammonium. When you have skin contacts with antibacterial cleaners it can burn the skin and it can also irritate the eyes. When accidentally ingested, it can burn ones throat.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANER
In other to protect your skin when using antibacterial cleaners, it is advisable to wear an apron and hand gloves. Also, try as much as possible to prevent it from splashing on your skin. However, if you accidentally get it on your skin, wash away immediately.
GLASS AND WINDOW CLEANER
Glass and window cleaners are basically used to wipe away dirt from the glass surfaces. The major contents of glass and window cleaners are isopropanol and ammonia. Isopropanol and ammonia can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and skin. When accidentally swallowed or ingested it can cause serious damage to one’s health. The affected person can be unconscious, drowsy and it can even lead to death.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING GLASS AND WINDOW CLEANERS
Always wear an apron, eyes goggles, and hand gloves when using this cleaner so as to prevent it from getting on your skin. Place this cleaner in a safe place where your kids can’t reach to. Also, when using this cleaner, open the doors and windows for air to come in. Avoid using this cleaner in an airtight environment. When this cleaner is accidentally ingested seek medical advice immediately.
Today’s cars batteries are wet-cell batteries and these prevent cars batteries contents to be exposed. Cars batteries contents includes lead and sulfuric acid. Cars batteries that contain sulfuric acid are to be handled with care when working with it because sulfuric acid fumes are extremely irritating and when it comes in contact with the skin it can cause charring and burning of the skin. It can also lead to blindness when you gets it into your eyes. Lead is also a poisonous chemical and it accumulates in the environment and also in our bodies.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING CARS BATTERIES
Never touch cars batteries with bare hand because you can never tell whether the batteries are damaged. Rather wear hand gloves to prevent any form of body damage. Also avoid breaking the seal of wet-car batteries. Whether the cars batteries are broken, put it in a safe place where children and pets can’t reach until the cars batteries is repaired. Always wear a hand gloves when handling cars batteries and also when car battery acid accidentally splashes on your skin seek medical attention.
Majority of air fresheners contains aerosol propellants, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates and p-dichlorobenzene. These chemicals are carcinogenic agent and they are capable of causing damage to the brain. They can also irritate the eyes, throat and the skin. Also, when solid air fresheners are accidentally swallowed, it can cause death and they are also highly inflammable.
Furniture polish are used to clean household furniture. Furniture polishes that are used in cleaning woods contain oil of cedar and petroleum distillates. Some certain furniture polish contains harmful chemicals that are dangerous to one’s health. These chemicals include phenol, ammonia, nitrobenzene, petroleum distillates and naphtha. These chemicals can irritate the eyes, throat, windpipe, and the skin. If accidentally ingested, it can cause vomiting and nausea. Medical attention should be seek with immediate effect.
SAFETY MEASURE TO BE USED WHEN USING AIR FRESHENERS AND FURNITURE POLISH
These substances have their advantages and disadvantages. Air freshener gives a lovely smell while furniture polish makes furniture shines. However, their contents are very dangerous to our environments and our bodies. Always keep these substances away from children and do not use air freshener around an open flame as they are highly flammable.
HARMFUL CHEMICAL THAT SHOULD BE AVOID
The following is the list of harmful chemicals that are dangerous to one’s health. These chemicals include:
- Bisphenol A and Phthalates
- Flame retardants
Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical. It is cancer causing chemical that has been linked to nasal squamous cell cancer. Formaldehyde can cause skin irritant which leads to allergy reactions such as stuffy noses, skin rashes, burning eyes and throats. Allergic skin rashes can happen as a result of having skin contact with products that has formaldehyde in it. This can cause respiratory disorder, fatigue, headache and nausea. Formaldehyde is commonly used in making some household substances such as air fresheners, insecticides and furniture polish. It is also used to preserve some household appliances that contain a huge amount of urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins.
HOW TO AVOID FORMALDEHYDE
Always read your air fresheners labeled before purchasing it or better still, bicarbonates can be used to replace air freshener and it is safer to use. Avoid buying any furniture made of medium density fiber board (MDF) or pressboard. Also avoid household products that have the following chemicals
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- Diazolidinyl urea
- DMDM hydantion
- Bronopol (2-bromo-2nitropropane-1,3-diol)
- Quarternium 15
Arsenic is a carcinogenic chemical. It is a cancer causing chemical that has been linked to some organ cancer such as kidney cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer. Some certain foods contain inorganic and organic arsenic. When foods with inorganic and organic arsenic are consumed in high quantity it can expose someone to cancerous disease thereby increasing one’s risk of having cancer. These foods include apple, rice and grape juice. Also, arsenic can be seen in pressure-treated wood which is used for residential purposes.
HOW TO AVOID ARSENIC
Avoid eating food with organic and inorganic arsenic. However, if it is to be consumed, it should be in small quantities to reduce the risk of having cancer. When cooking rice try as much as possible to rinse the rice thoroughly as this will reduce the risk of being exposed to inorganic arsenic. Avoid using pressure-treated wood as arsenic can be found in it.
BISPHENOL A (BPA) AND PHTHALATES
Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are both endocrine system disrupters. They affect reproductive development in both males and females. Bisphenol is related to early puberty seen in girls of today while phthalates are related to low testosterone in males (testosterone is a hormone that is found in the male reproductive system).
Bisphenol A is used in making rigid plastic while phthalates are used to make flexible plastics. They are used in making kid’s water bottles, drinking cups, plastic plates, raincoats, shower curtains, toys, and backpacks.
HOW TO AVOID BISPHENOL A (BPA) AND PHTHALATES
Avoid microwaving foods in plastics containers because they can release Bisphenol A (BPA) into the plastic container contents and this can disrupt the endocrine system. When purchasing children’s backpacks and raincoats go for the one free of PVC. Always avoid buying canned drinks and foods however, if it is necessary you get it always go for the one marked with Bisphenol A free (BPA- free).
Exposure to mercury can impair neurological development. Neurological development happens fast in pregnancy and also in early childhood. Mercury can be found in the environment through industrial waste and polluted air. When mercury enters into the ocean or seas, fish absorb this chemical through their gills. It is very dangerous to consume food high in mercury because high levels of mercury have been linked to ADHD. Mercury can also be found in a mercury thermometer. This thermometer should be handle with care to prevent it from damaging which can cause the mercury content of the thermometer to leak into the environment thereby causing air pollution.
HOW TO AVOID MERCURY
Large fish absorb mercury through their gills. Avoid eating large fish such as king mackerel, tile-fish, swordfish and shark. Mercury thermometer can also be replaced with a digital thermometer in other to prevent the risk of been exposed to mercury.
Flame retardant called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is a very dangerous flame retardant. Exposure to a small dose of this chemical can damage the reproductive system in both males and females. It can also affect one’s memory, hearing, learning ability, and motor skills. Flames retardant are used in making furniture, pillows, carpet padding, couches, and mattresses. It can also be found in some electronics and polyurethane foam products.
HOW TO AVOID FLAME RETARDANT
Avoid using old furniture, mattresses, pillows, and couches. Put away electronics like mobiles or remotes from children and also prevent them from putting such things inside their mouth.
Perchlorate is an industrial chemical contaminant that is used in fireworks, explosives, flares, rocket fuel, and some fertilizers. High exposure to this chemical can cause iodine absorption into the thyroid gland and this can alter the production of thyroid hormone which is needed for growth and development.
HOW TO AVOID PERCHLORATE
Always check the labels of fireworks and fertilizer when purchasing these substances and go with one free with perchlorate. Use iodized salt as this help to prevent thyroid damage.
The use of pesticides has been linked to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia (cancer of the bone marrow) in children. When pesticides is used in the garden or outdoor lawns to get rid of weed and insects it can penetrate into the groundwater supply and when this water is used to cook or as drinking water, it exposes children to some certain health conditions.
HOW TO AVOID PESTICIDES
Avoid using pesticides during raining season to prevent high exposure to pesticide and when treating your garden or your lawn with pesticide, prevent your children from playing around the garden at that particular time.
Lead is a poisonous chemical which is capable of causing damage to the kidney, nervous system, slow or delayed development, and stunted growth. The use of lead was banned in products marketed for children. However, it can still be seen in some jewelry, imported toys and even candy sweet.
HOW TO AVOID LEAD
Avoid buying metal toys and imported toys for children as this can increase exposure to lead thereby causing several damages to their health. However, if you must get them something to play with, it is advisable you run background check on what you are planning to purchase.