What Are Some Deadly Household Poisons?


Quick Answer

Dangerous chemicals commonly found in households include air fresheners, ammonia, antifreeze, bleach and drain cleaners. Laundry detergents, mothballs and motor oils also are considered toxic.

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Full Answer

Many household chemicals are typically safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, they consist of hazardous chemicals and can gradually turn into more toxic substances over time.

Air fresheners contain formaldehyde, which can inflame the lung and mucous membranes and even cause cancer. They also contain flammable petroleum distillates, which are eye, skin and lung irritants. Anyone who inhales the volatile compound ammonia may suffer an inflamed respiratory system and irritated mucous membranes. Those who spill the substance on their skin may experience chemical burns.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a chemical that causes dizziness when inhaled and harms internal organs when ingested. Its sweet smell makes it enticing to children and pets. Bleach is dangerous because of its sodium hypochlorite content. Contact with bleach can cause skin damage, while breathing it in can cause respiratory system damage.

Drain cleaners are toxic household substances that consist of sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid. These chemicals can cause severe chemical burns through skin contact. When splashed on the eyes, drain cleaners can lead to blindness. Another poisonous household substance is laundry detergent, which can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsion and even coma when swallowed.

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