hen consumers learn just how many people are injured in the United States each year as a result of faulty products, they’re often shocked. That’s because the annual figure is a staggering 33.1 million people. Once you let the prevalence of faulty products sink in, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your home probably isn’t as safe as you assumed. From furniture to toys, there are many seemingly normal items that actually have the potential to be dangerous.
Because being informed is the best way to combat this problem, we have a compiled a list of items that may currently be posing a threat to you and your family:
While this may be the best known danger on the list, there are two important reasons it’s still worth addressing. The first is because many older houses still contain it. If you have any doubts about whether or not there’s lead paint in your home, the best thing you can do is contact a professional to take care of removing it for you.
The other reason it’s still important to discuss this issue is while lead paint is no longer used in the US, it may still be used by companies in other countries that export their products to the United States. That exact situation was why there was a major recall in 2007 for numerous children’s toys made in China that had been coated with lead paint. So even though it may seem unlikely, it’s still worth being sure you know that certain items are up to your quality standards.
This is an area where a lot of research is still being done. What is clear is as a result of the dyes and glues used in carpet, it’s possible for them to emit violative organic compounds. When inhaled, VOCs can cause various health problems. The good news is this is generally only a problem when carpet is new. So as long as it’s unrolled and allowed to ventilate in a safe space for a few days, you shouldn’t experience any negative effects.
Whether you want to freshen the air inside your home, clean the bathroom or get stains out of the carpet, it’s normal to assume that your best option is to use a cleaner you can pick up from any nearby store. So even though it may come as a major surprise, that approach isn’t always safe. The reason is many of those cleaners can contain terpenes and ethylene-based glycol ethers. While the latter can be toxic on its own, the combination is even more dangerous. Fortunately, if you want to keep your home both clean and safe, you can do so by utilizing safer cleaning products like those made by Chem-Dry.
Studies have suggested that some printers may release ozone, particulates and VOCs. In addition to researching a new model before purchasing, the best way to minimize any negative effects is to put your printer in a spot that isn’t right next to where you sit.
It’s no secret that pesticides are mixtures of chemicals used to kill unwanted insects or other pests. But because these products are often marketed for indoor use, many consumers don’t realize just how careful you have to be when using them. That’s why the American Association of Poison Control Centers receives tens of thousands of calls each year about pesticides. While you may find that there’s no way for you to get around occasionally using pesticides, a more desirable option is to see if there are any environmentally friendly products or strategies you can use to get rid of unwanted pests.
Because many people were first exposed to mothballs when they visited their grandparents as a child, it’s normal to associate this product with memories that may be quite pleasant. However, that association doesn’t mean mothballs are actually safe. The long and short of this product is it can release very harmful vapors. As a result, there’s simply no reason to use this product when cedar chips are completely safe and just as effective.
Although it can be alarming to learn just how many items in your home may be dangerous, now that you’re aware of the prevalence of this issue, the good news is you’ll be able to take steps to protect yourself and your entire family.
Patricia Burke is a freelance writer.
When she’s not working on a new story,
she enjoys knitting or playing with her four-year old twin daughters.