This website lists the top twelve worst household chemicals. Air fresheners are ranked the worst because the contain chemicals like formaldehyde, and phenol. Rounding out the top three are bleach and ammonia. All of these can cause harmful side effects and even death.
1. Cigarette Smoke: Cigarette smoke is made up of more than 4,000 chemicals and causes a variety of deadly cancers, as well as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, respiratory allergies and complications during pregnancy.
2. Lead: Lead in old lead-based paint remains on the walls in many homes, workplaces and schools. This paint can emit lead-laced dust particles, especially during remodeling and construction. Old, corroded lead pipes are another common culprit. Elevated blood-lead levels in kids increase risk of learning disabilities, behavioral problems, anemia and, in extreme cases, serious brain damage.
3. Pesticides: We use them to control weeds and insects in and around our homes can be significant health hazards. Exposure has been associated with health problems ranging from skin rashes to nervous system disorders and cancer.
4. Formaldehyde: It is used in fertilizers, glues, plywood, fiberboard, particleboard and certain types of insulation, as well as in some disinfectants, antibacterial soaps and even beauty products. Formaldehyde has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the EPA. Its vapors can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and skin, and also cause asthma attacks in sensitive people. Home exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to respiratory allergies in children.
5. Radon: This dangerous chemical is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas produced by the decay of a naturally occurring element in soil called radium. Radon seeps into homes through cracks in the foundations, accumulating in lower floors, especially basements. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after tobacco, and is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.
Many household cleaners contain chlorine, though it’s often labeled “sodium hypochlorite” or “hypochlorite.” Toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution and the average household contains anywhere from 3 to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in cleaners like laundry detergent, dish liquids, glass cleaners, carpet cleaners, mouth wash, and in other stuff like furniture polish and paint.
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