Environmental hazards and pollution are trending topics from a health and wellness perspective. But it is unsettling to know that our homes are also not free from hazards. Common-use household items like cooking appliances, heating furnaces, stoves, ovens, mobile phones, and other gadgets can have life-threatening consequences in the long run.
Even the so-called green and environment-friendly products pose hidden dangers to our health and well-being. For instance, skincare products and medicines for some benefits have many other discreet threats to health. Chemicals, disease-causing pathogens, and allergens are inseparable in drinking water, the food chain, the air, and everything else in our surroundings.
In short, our surroundings are full of hazards. Hence, beware of your contact with known and unknown harmful agents and chemicals. Double-check whatever you stuff in your homes. The best protection against well-being hazards is better preparedness, knowledge, and prevention.
Continue to the following passages to explore how everyday-use items can harm your health.
Paint can be harmful to health because of the chemical compounds in it. Contact with paint chemicals is also a risk factor for developing rare conditions like mesothelioma. Some paint products in use since the 1990s have had a higher risk percentage for asbestos exposure.
Asbestos is a fine-fibrous compound notorious for developing mesothelioma. And mesothelioma is a malignancy that develops in the tissues of the abdomen lining after direct or indirect exposure to asbestos. It’s a lethal condition with not more than two years of survival timeframe upon diagnosis. So, examine your house for possible traces of such harmful chemicals if its construction or renovation dates back to the 1990s.
If you already suffer from mesothelioma that links to asbestos exposure, consult a mesothelioma attorney for further guidance on due compensation. If your exposure falls into the unregulated and negligent category, you can pursue a legal procedure for your loss.
- Cooking stoves
Cooking stoves are essential household appliances in every home. But do you know your cooking stove can harm you in many ways than simply causing a burn? As a rule of thumb, anything related to burning releases pollutants and unhealthy gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen dioxide. If your home has a poor ventilation system, the fire-burning process consumes all the indoor oxygen and vents these gases indoors, causing suffocation and toxicity.
Carbon monoxide toxicity is one of the leading causes of death globally. Annually, over four hundred individuals fall victim to carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States alone. It binds with blood more readily than oxygen, depriving your vital organs of oxygenated blood. Breathing in carbon monoxide can cause death in minutes without alerting you in advance, as it is odorless.
- Hidden chemicals in skincare products
Given the social media awareness and high-profile lawsuits against famous cosmetic brands, it’s unsurprising that skincare products are more than beauty claims. Skincare products contain several chemicals. Skin-bleaching agents, fragrances, synthetic colors, acetone, formaldehyde, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, mercury, and preservatives in cosmetics can trigger an allergic reaction. Skin irritation, dryness, itching, inflammation, and rashes are possible if your skin is sensitive to the chemical formula of a skincare product. Some also experience sore throat, wheezing, nausea, headache, and eye irritation as side effects.
Skincare products can also lead to severe dermatological and other health complications. For instance, formaldehyde is a carcinogenic agent. Breathing in or contact with formaldehyde can cause leukemia, hemorrhage nephritis, pneumonia, vascular collapse, or rare cancers across the respiratory tract. It is a water-soluble, highly reactive, and metabolic chemical compound. Almost every cell can metabolize it instantly, leading to instant death after a high dose exposure.
- Plastic utensils and cutlery
Plastic utensils and cutlery are must-have items in every home. Plastic cups, plates, spoons, bottles, and other utensils are hardly not a part of any kitchen or dining table. Single-use, malleable, affordable, and recyclable properties of plastic make it a popular choice for every home against expensive crockery and glassware utensils. Even though plastic is a popular alternative in cookware, utensils, and cutlery, it is not free from health risks.
Research publications are abundant regarding the adverse effects of plastic on our health. Plastic releases harmful toxins if you use it for high-heating cooking procedures, contaminating anything we eat or drink. It is possible to ingest plastic if you use plastic cutlery and utensils in your routine. And ingesting even microplastic particles is hazardous to health. Microparticles can travel to the heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs via the bloodstream. These particles can cause blockage or inflammation anywhere and compromise the immune system. Likewise, oligomers formed during the manufacturing of plastic products also have hazardous side effects on health. So, beware of low-quality plastic products and discard all single-use plastic cutlery.
- Kitchen Appliances
Stoves, cooktops, heaters, dryers, and microwave ovens not certified under Proposition 65 are hazardous to health. Proposition 65 lists chemicals harmful to humans, causing defects in newborns, cancer, and other health complications. Unsurprisingly, the list includes alprazolam, aldrin, all-trans retinoid acid, aflatoxins, aminopterin, formaldehyde, and others. Electronic appliances release harmful chemicals or gases after regular use and when nearing wear and tear. For instance, microwave oven radiation can increase the risk of developing cancer if you operate them too close or if your oven has loose fittings. Spilling over a boiling pot or opening up a pressure cooker too abruptly can cause skin burns. Short-circuiting in electronic appliances is another hazard for the accidental eruption of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In short, the more you stuff your kitchen, the higher the chances of exposure to dangers.
- Insect or mosquito repellent
Mosquito-repellent products pass a thorough regulatory process to ensure harmless use in closed or open spaces. But sometimes, skipping product descriptions or modes of use can expose one to unavoidable dangers. Some common side effects include skin allergic reactions, breathing problems, eye itching, nausea, or headaches. Fine particles in the fumes or sprays of repellent can aggravate or cause respiratory tract conditions like asthma, cold, or pneumonia.
Some studies document that a single mosquito repellent coil releases fine particles of as much as 75 to over a hundred cigarettes. Studies also state that such products can act as intermediate metabolites and hamper normal processes in the body. Bio-transfer and bioaccumulation of toxins in the food chain are also possible. Thus, be mindful while using in routine. It is recommended not to breathe in the air after using mosquito or insect repellent sprays in a closed room. Leave the room empty until the tiny particles settle down, and do not leave anything edible uncovered while using repellent sprays.
Given the bare and hidden dangers in our surroundings and the environment, there’s no safe place. On top of that, lack of awareness and negligence can further lead to adverse outcomes. So, inspect your homes thoroughly for possible threats and accidents. Recheck the benefits and risks of any household item before purchasing.