Household items & your health

The world is full of far-fetched facts that make you go “really?”. For example, there’s more computing power in a smartphone than NASA used to land people on the moon. And the inside of the world’s biggest plane is big enough to play host to the world’s first flight (the Wright Brothers and their plane and the distance it flew could all fit inside the belly of the Antonov An-225). Then, as we idle through our weeks and months, facts about the home crop up from time to time. Like there’s 400x more bacteria on the average home PC keyboard than can be found loitering around the rim of the toilet (before we continue, you might want to wipe down your keys!).

If we really get into what else is going on in the home that could affect your health, you may find yourself reaching several mental blockages, like asking why round up is still being sold and wondering if you should switch toothpaste or shampoo brand. Let’s take a closer look at household items and your health.

Mothballs 

The ingredient found in mothballs that stops moths from laying larvae in the fabric is called Naphthalene. Exposure to naphthalene has been shown to destroy red blood cells and is even linked to causing certain cancers in animals. If you’re planning on hanging up your clothes for a long period, perhaps look into vacuum packing your goods instead of risking any exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Oven cleaner

We all need clean ovens, so, there’s not really much we can do about the potential dangers associated with oven cleaners other than to ventilate the area and wear gloves and a mask. The issue is that oven cleaners often contain corrosive alkalis that can cause serious damage to the gastrointestinal tract if accidentally ingested. Always take the necessary precautions, and keep out of reach of children.

Furniture polish

For a start, oil-based stains are incredibly flammable, and so should be kept out of reach and only used away from any naked flames. Secondly, some furniture polishes contain phenol and nitrobenzene. When these chemicals come into contact with the skin, you may not feel any immediate sensation. However, the skin can absorb the phenol and nitrobenzene, which are both linked to skin cancer.

It goes without saying that in order to avoid any unfortunate health related outcomes, you should always wear appropriate protective gloves whenever polishing (or staining) your furniture.

Last tip… don’t overload extension cables

Extension cords/cables have a voltage capacity (some have built in breakers) that can be overloaded, presenting a fire hazard. Aim to use extension cables as required, and not as a permanent solution to your various electrical socket needs around the home.

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