Environmental and Health Risks of Common Household Products


While most people are aware that gas-burning stoves and a variety of household cleaners are only among the many harmful items people have in their homes, there are also many more dubious products with underlying hazards that we did not know the consequences of—until recently.

You should be wary of several hazards in your home, most of which you can barely control. Because of technological advancement, it can be challenging to state which appliances are natural alternatives or those that pose a threat to your health. Some of these are listed below.

Non-Stick Cookware

While it’s convenient that the need to soak your pans overnight isn’t necessary or scraping off the burnt food bits that got stuck, it comes with a price, unfortunately. Polytetrafluoroethylene is the coating that makes the word “non-stick” of the essence. It also releases certain gases when heated, which all tend to put your health at risk, making you prone to cancer and other harmful effects on your body.

Extension Cords

How can extension cords be harmful, you ask? The way they are used, however, is. There is a reason why there is a limited number of outlets to a particular electrical set up — because of a specific voltage capacity—plugging in more than the outlet can carry increases the risks of fire hazards. Combine this with worn-out cords with their wires running under furniture or carpets, and you’ll have the reason why extension cords are among the leading causes of fire in the United States.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Have you ever wondered why toilet bowl cleaners do their job so effectively? The corrosive ingredient used to make them incredibly acidic is also the same chemicals that can cause burns on your eyes and skin. They are highly dangerous, especially when mixing them with various other cleaners. You can always call plumbing services to avoid the use of these harmful substances.


The chemical found in mothballs, and other similar products, called Naphthalene, kills red blood cells. And although it has not yet been proven that it can cause cancer in people, several other experiments regarding the said chemical have found cancer in animal subjects. Additionally, using mothballs is like consuming an insecticide since they change from solid to gas. Breathing their essence can make you feel sick, dizzy, and disoriented.

Cleaning Solutions

Not only are cleaning solutions the topmost offenders on this list and frequently used, but household cleaners also contain the most toxic chemicals. It is more concerning that cleaning solutions are not required to display their ingredients on the containers, leaving those who purchase them in the dark. Even those that claim to be “natural” or “green” can be stated otherwise. 

Dried-up Lint from the Dryer

Lint can sometimes be the result of fires in homes. U.S. Fire Administration records show that there are around 2,900 residential clothes dryer fires per year. The overall damage of property is $35 million, and there have been over 100 physical injuries as a result.

It’s vital to clear your laundry lint trap before you start drying your clothes. Cleaning it regularly will help you save money on your utility bills since a clogged dryer uses more power to dry your clothes because the lint gets in the way of the heat. Depending on how often you do your laundry, you may want to clean your dryer vents even more frequently than once a year. Cleaning your dryer’s lint trap regularly will improve your dryer’s ventilation and drying results.

Air Fresheners

Substances inside air fresheners build up in the body as time passes and can be harmful. Ackerman Cancer Center said they include phthalates and other dangerous compounds readily breathed, absorbed via the skin, or accidentally consumed. Using air fresheners for an extended period can harm the central nervous system, kidneys, and lungs. Moreover, it can also affect hormones production in the body, increasing cancer risk and complicating pregnancy.


When it comes to disinfecting surfaces, killing mildew, and whitening clothing and textiles, bleach might be your go-to. However, the powerful chemicals and smell in these cleaners may cause you to look for an alternative. If it comes into contact with your skin, you might experience burning, irritation, and even an alteration in your skin color. Other people worry that bleach, whether breathed or ingested, may hurt their lungs.

Vinegar and baking soda, or cleaning products from companies that employ natural chemicals, are less hazardous natural options to explore. However, as much as we want to avoid the mentioned products, some are still necessary for household cleaning. Make sure you’ve invested in the right insurance plan for instances of any accidents regarding products that can cause health concerns.

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