1. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners seem to be everywhere now - as spritzes, gels, plug-ins and diffusers - with names like Crispy Cinnamon and Butterscotch Bonanza. Many of them are horribly overwhelming - particularly in a house that is empty and closed up, but they are doing more than just annoying us.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, some air fresheners contain phthalates – a class of chemicals shown to cause cancer, liver toxicity, kidney toxicity and reproductive problems in animal studies. What’s more, some air fresheners contain harmful agents such as formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Lets hear it for taking the trash out and opening windows occasionally. Maybe then we can skip a few of those fake scents.
There are several plants that are toxic to children and pets. Poinsettias quickly come to mind - so cheery at Christmas but dangerous to your beloved pets. Philodendron are another plant to approach with caution. These hearty houseplants are very dangerous to humans and pets. Chewing a philodendron leaf can cause burning, blistering and swelling of the lips, tongue and throat; burning and irritation of the eyes; slurred speech; skin irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. According to the National Library of Medicine, the poisonous ingredient in philodendrons is Calcium oxalate, a chemical compound known in plants as raphides.
The compound is also found in Peace Lilies, Calla Lilies and Elephant Ear, among other common houseplants.
3. Laundry Detergent Packets
I love being able to toss a laundry detergent packet into my washing machine - and they are perfect for anyone who has to take their dirty clothes down the hall to a common laundry room. But this advance in convenience can be very dangerous. When ingested, packets can cause loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling and difficulty breathing. What’s more, eye contact can cause ocular burns leading to temporary vision loss.
The colorful squishy packets with appealing smells are particularly enticing to children who think they are candy. Last year, more than 10,000 children under the age of 5 were exposed to the laundry pods, which are more concentrated than old fashioned liquids and powder. Proctor and Gamble is making the containers more difficult to open in order to keep the contents out of the hands of small children and recommending that households with children under the age of 6 use liquids or powders rather than the pods.