Hazardous household products

Manufacturers do not want you to know about the hazardous chemicals used in many everyday household cleaners, air fresheners and disinfectants or how they effect people. If used on a regular basis many of these products can contribute to the poor quality of your indoor air and to your long term health.

What is in these products and how can they effect you?:

Air fresheners and Deodorizers 

Contain Formaldehyde which is toxic. Can be an irritant to eyes, nose and throat and may cause nausea, headaches, nose bleeds, dizziness, memory loss and shortness of breath. 


Contains Ethylene Glycol and Methanol, both of which are toxic. Can cause damage to the cardiovascular system, respiratory system and blood, skin and kidney problems.

Household Bleach (also known as Chlorine Bleach)

Contains Sodium Hypochlorite which is corrosive. A skin and eye irritant which can also cause burns on contact with skin. May cause pulmonary edema( fluid accumulation in the lungs) or vomiting if ingested.

Car Wax, Car Polish, Degreasers

Contain Petroleum distillates which are toxic.  A skin and eye irritant. Associated with skin and lung cancer and pulmonary edema.


Contain Sodium Hypochlorite which is corrosive. A skin and eye irritant which can also cause burns on contact with skin. May cause pulmonary edema or vomiting if ingested.

Contains Phenols which are toxic.  Can cause respiratory, circulatory or cardiac damage.

Contains Ammonia which is toxic. Can cause chronic irritation to eyes. skin and respiratory system.

Drain Cleaners

Contains Sodium or Potassium Hydroxide which is caustic. Causes burns to skin. Eye and lung irritant. Poisonous if swallowed.

Contains Hydrochloric Acid which is corrosive. Causes burns to skin. Eye and lung irritant. Can cause kidney and liver damage.

Contains Trichloromethane which is toxic. An irritant to eyes and nose and can cause liver and kidney damage if ingested.

Flea Powder

Contains Carbaryl which is very toxic. May cause skin, respiratory system and cardiovascular damage.

Contains Dichlorophene which is toxic. May cause skin irritation, liver and kidney damage.

Contains Chlorinated Hydrocarbons which are toxic. May cause damage to eyes, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Are you getting the message here? The list goes on. Floor wax, furniture polish, air fresheners, glass cleaners, oven cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, spot removers, paints, solvents, laundry detergents and hundreds of everyday items which can be found in our homes.

If you suffer from allergies or environmental sensitivity, it is vitally important that you learn how to read product labels and minimize your contact with these toxic materials. The good news is that more and more “Green” products are becoming available plus people are searching out some of the tried and true old time recipes such as Borax (a natural mineral) for cleaning products. Be kind to your indoor air quality and to the planet by becoming informed.

Recognize these warning symbols

Poison — the contents of containers with this symbol are poisonous if swallowed, touched or inhaled.
Corrosive — the contents of containers with this symbol will burn skin or eyes and can also burn the stomach if swallowed.
Explosive — containers with this symbol can explode if heated or punctured.
Flammable — the contents of containers with this symbol catch fire easily if near heat, flames or sparks.

Each warning symbol also has one of these words under it.

CAUTION — means a temporary injury may occur from improper use of the product. Death may occur after extreme exposure.

DANGER — means that the product may cause temporary or permanent injury, or death.

EXTREME DANGER — means that being exposed to even a very low quantity of the product may cause death, or temporary or permanent injury. Be very, very careful.

Store all chemical products in their original containers.

Try not to store products that may release harmful fumes inside your home. These items include paints, solvents, gasoline, fuels or varnishes. Store them in a separate building, if you can, or in an area that is well vented to the outside. Buy only the quantity you need for the job, and discard any leftovers as directed by your municipality or township.

Dispose of leftover products safely. Check municipal guidelines for instructions.


  • burn household chemical containers
  • pour the contents down the drain
  • re-use empty containers for any purposes
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