10 Common Household Items That Could Kill You

Ever wondered if your home, your safe haven, might be harboring some dangerous secrets? Well, we’re about to uncover the truth about some seemingly innocuous items that could be lethal.

From the mundane to the mysterious, these everyday objects might just be more sinister than they appear.

1. Button Batteries

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These small, shiny disks are a common fixture in countless gadgets, from toys to watches. But if swallowed, they can unleash a dangerous chemical reaction that can burn through tissue in mere hours, leading to serious injury or death (ref).

It’s crucial to store them away securely and ensure they’re tightly embedded in their devices.

2. Mothballs

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Used to ward off pests and protect garments, mothballs release fumes that can cause everything from dizziness to serious respiratory problems. Worse yet, they contain substances that have been linked to cancer in laboratory animals (ref).

Opt for safer alternatives like cedar chips or lavender sachets (good for ants).

3. Furniture Polish

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That glossy finish might make your wood furniture sparkle, but many polishes contain solvents and petroleum distillates that can irritate the lungs or even be fatal if ingested.

Always use these products in a well-ventilated area and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

4. Windshield Washer Fluid

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This common automotive fluid contains methanol, a substance that can cause everything from dizziness and headaches to fatal poisoning if ingested (ref).

Store it securely and never transfer it to unmarked containers, as it can easily be mistaken for water or other harmless fluids.

5. Detergent Pods

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These vibrant pods might look tempting to young children but contain highly concentrated detergent that can cause severe chemical burns to the mouth and digestive system if ingested.

Always store laundry products in high cabinets with childproof latches.

6. Air Fresheners

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While they might make your home smell fresh, many air fresheners emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can accumulate in your home, potentially leading to long-term health effects like cancer or neurological damage.

Consider switching to natural alternatives or improve your home’s ventilation.

7. Non-Stick Cookware

cast iron skillet meal
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Convenient for an easy cleanup, non-stick pans can release toxic chemicals when overheated (ref). To avoid the risks, never heat an empty pan and consider using alternatives like well-seasoned cast iron or ceramic cookware which don’t release harmful fumes.

8. Drain Cleaners

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Extremely powerful, these cleaners can cause severe burns if they come into contact with skin or eyes and can be deadly if swallowed (ref). Things can become fatal when someone starts mixing different cleaners when one doesn’t work (ref).

Always handle them with gloves and eye protection, and keep them well away from children.

9. Extension Cords

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Overlooking the safe use of extension cords can lead to tragic accidents. From house fires to electric shocks, the risks are real.

Ensure they are not overloaded, check regularly for damage, and replace them if they show signs of wear.

10. Household Cleaners

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Bleach, ammonia, and other cleaning agents can be highly corrosive. Mixing them can create toxic gases, and direct exposure can cause burns or respiratory issues.

Always ventilate the area and never mix different cleaners.

How to Stay Safe

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Awareness and caution are your best defenses against these hidden dangers in your home. By understanding the risks and handling these items carefully, you can keep your sanctuary safe. Stay informed and stay safe!

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.