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Silent Killers: How Common Household Items Can Be Putting You And Your Family In Danger

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Children make us do things like put gates on our stairwells and locks on our cabinets. Yet we often take for granted, common household items that we often, almost without thinking, expose our children to, placing them in harm’s way and in serious, frequently life-threatening danger.

In fact, statistics show that between five to ten million household poisonings occur each year, with the most serious injuries, infections, and victims (to fatality) being children. And, most are due to the accidental encounter and ingestion of familiar household substances found in most every home.

Research suggests, that, believe it or not, the average household contains more (hazardous) chemicals than were typically found in a common chemistry lab at the turn of the 20th century. And, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these common household cleaning items and personal care supplies are among the most dangerous products in our homes.

From astringents and detergents to creams, shampoos, conditioners and even mouthwash, our homes give our children easy access to some of the most lethal substances available, and which often have the potential to not only harm them, but kill them.

Experts suggest storing these items in a place far out of not only the reach, but also out of site of children so they won’t be “tempted” to explore. In fact, they note, that parents should treat toxic substances in the same manner they would treat lethal weapons such as guns and knives and taking the same precautions about shielding children from them.

Many experts even go as far as suggesting eliminating these products from your home altogether, and replacing them with safer substitutes that are just as effective, but a lot less ominous.

They (the experts) note that most poisoning occur over an extended period of time simply based on daily exposure to certain toxins and toxic chemicals in the air. As a matter of fact, common household cleaners were listed as among the most notorious chemicals we can come in contact with. And, according to studies, those (generally women) who worked at home had a 54% higher mortality rate from cancer than women who had jobs outside the homes (and which did not require them to work in polluted environments, or with astringents or chemicals). This, as a direct result to stay-at home mom’s and spouse’s frequent and consistent exposure to common household cleaning products and other such supplies.

Additionally, a report released by the Consumer Products Safety Commission identifies 150 chemicals commonly contained in homes that are linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities. And, another study revealed that the toxic chemicals found in household items are three times more dangerous and likely to cause cancer than air pollution.

What’s worse is that these harmful chemicals are frequently found in some of our favorite personal care supplies such as those we use on our hair, skin, and even put in our mouth, making it much easier for them to be ingested or absorbed through our (or our children’s) skin. And, back in 1989 the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed almost 3,000 chemicals present in common personal care items and found that: 884 were notable toxic. Of these, 7778 were linked to acute toxicity, 146 labeled as cancer/tumor causing agents, 218 as responsible for reproductive complications, 314 linked to possible biological mutations and 376 related to skin and eye irritations.

Then, there’s always the air that we breathe. While we all know about pollution, what most of us don’t know is according to an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Report to Congress, indoor air pollution is one of our nation’s lading health care concerns and prominent environmental problems.

In fact, according to the EPA, most home contain airborne concentrations of toxic and hazardous chemicals that are about five times greater than those found outdoors. And, in one five year study done by the EPA, results revealed that a significant number of homes contained chemical levels seventy times greater inside the home than outside.

This is often due to cleaning and personal care products that give ff toxic vapors, even when stored, a process known as outgassing. And, experts note that while dangerous to and for the entire family, children tend to be most vulnerable to the harmful chemicals and their effects due to their higher metabolic rate. Children require more oxygen and breather two to three times more air (including toxins) relative to body size than adults. Plus, children tend to touch more things, put their hands in or near their mouth more and play closer to the floor, were many of these chemicals naturally settle.

It is these airborne chemicals, say experts, that may contribute and be responsible for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which claims thousands of young lives each year, and may even account for increased incidents of SIDS in the winter when doors and windows (necessary for ventilation) are closed.

Long Island Safety Articles > Silent Killers: How Common Household Items Can Be Putting You And Your Family In Danger

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