What Are Some Lethal Household Poisons?


Quick Answer

Some lethal poisons that can be found in a typical household include formaldehyde, ammonia, bleach, ethylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, p-dichlorobenzene and naphthalene. Products that contain these chemicals vary, but all of them are common household items.

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Full Answer

For example, formaldehyde can be found in many common air fresheners and can cause irritation of the lungs, in addition to being a known carcinogen.

Ammonia and bleach are common household cleaning products. Both can cause chemical burns and irritate the mucus membrane if inhaled. In addition, if ammonia and bleach are mixed they create chloramine gas, which is extremely toxic.

Antifreeze contains the chemical ethylene glycol, which is especially dangerous for children and pets because of its sweet taste and smell. It can cause serious damage to digestive organs.

Lye, or sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid are regularly found in drain cleaners. Both can cause serious chemical burns if they touch the skin and blindness if they inadvertently come in contact with the eyes.

P-dichlorobenzene or naphthalene makes up the main composition of mothballs. Mothballs are small balls of chemicals or deodorants that are used to eliminate and prevent pests or mold from clothing for long periods of time. However, prolonged exposure to p-dichlorobenzene or naphthalene significantly increases the chances of liver damage or cataract formation.

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