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The Top 5 Most Hazardous Household Products

Your home should be a safe haven, but there are everyday products that you may use that can cause damage if they are used incorrectly or stored inappropriately. You may be surprised as to what they are! Be sure to handle the following products with care and store them out of reach of children and pets.

These five products top the list of most hazardous household products:

1.    Ammonia. Often used to remove heavy-duty stains, this common cleaning agent releases vapors that can irritate the eyes. If inhaled, it can cause chemical burns in the throat and lungs. When ammonia comes into contact with the skin, it can cause a rash.  Whenever possible, either dilute the ammonia as much as possible or replace it with a less damaging cleanser.

2.     Matches/ Cigarette Lighters. Left alone and stored away from heat sources, these flammable items are pretty harmless. However, they can lead to a serious fire when ignited -- making it essential to store them out of reach of children. Also, lighter fluid can be harmful if accidentally ingested or if it gets onto the skin.

3.    Aerosol Products. The propellant that forces the product inside an aerosol can out into the air is a known carcinogen that contributes to the hole in the ozone layer. It is irritating to the eyes and skin, and if inhaled too much can cause symptoms including nausea, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

4.    Drain Cleaner/Clog Remover.  Anything that can eat through balls of hair and buildups of gunk that water can’t get past is caustic and corrosive. And, any contact with the skin can mean at best, a minor irritation, and at worst, a severe chemical burn. Handle these products with gloves to avoid accidental exposure.

5.    Floor Wax. These waxes are extremely flammable, so avoid using near heating grates or around lit candles. Additionally, the vapors released from the wax can irritate the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat.

Keep your home the safe haven it was meant to be! Many of these products have natural alternatives, simply ask at your local health food store. You can ensure your abode is clean and safe by following all directions on your household products and remeber, never use a chemical product for something it isn’t intended for.

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