10 Potential Death Traps Lurking in Your Home


1
Your Medicine Cabinet

Below the sink isn't the only danger zone in your bathroom. Like cleaning products, medications, health care and personal hygiene products can be a minefield. According to American Association of Poison Control Centers, three of the top five causes of substances most frequently involved in poison calls were analgesics (11.5 percent), cosmetics/personal care products (7.7 percent) and sedatives/hypnotics/antipsychotics (6 percent) [source: AAPCC].

Note that prescription drugs rank below cosmetics. Items such as perfumes, nail polish, aerosol deodorants and hair sprays and even some soaps can present a risk. Seemingly benign products such as sunscreens, lip balms, shaving creams and moisturizers can contain the chemical oxybenzone, which has been linked to hormone disruption and low birth-weight babies, or parabens, a synthetic preservative that is suspected of causing cancer in animals. Even fluoride toothpaste can be considered a health risk if swallowed [source: Park].

Prescription medications still remain a major concern, whether taken accidentally, or taken by someone surreptitiously. Again, the person in the mirror on your medicine cabinet is in the best position to make sure that these products aren't abused or happen to fall into the wrong hands.

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Sources

  • Alliance for Health Homes. "Asbestos." (Jan. 7, 2012) http://www.afhh.org/hhe/hhe_asbestos.htm
  • Alliance for Healthy Homes. "Health Hazards." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.afhh.org/hhe/hhe_health_hazards.htm
  • American Association of Poison Control Centers. "American Association of Poison Control Centers Releases Annual Poison Exposure Report." AAPCC.org. Dec. 2011.(Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/News%20Release%202010%20Annual%20Report.pdf
  • American Lung Association. "Carbon Monoxide Indoors." (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.lungusa.org/healthy-air/home/resources/carbon-monoxide-indoors.html
  • American Lung Association. "Mold and Dampness." (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.lungusa.org/healthy-air/home/resources/mold-and-dampness.html
  • The Bump. "Is It Safe: Hidden Dangers Lurking in Your Home." April, 2010. (Jan. 4, 2012) http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/is-it-safe/articles/is-it-safe-hidden-dangers-in-your-house.aspx
  • Health and Environmental Funders Network. "Household Hazards: Potential Hazards of Home Cleaning Products." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.hefn.org/resources/links/household-hazards-potential-hazards-of-home-cleaning-products
  • HSH. "Environmental Hazards in the home." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://library.hsh.com/articles/homeowners-repeat-buyers/environmental-hazards-in-the-home
  • Parents magazine. "10 Surprising Safety Hazards." (Jan. 6, 2012) http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/safety-hazards/#
  • Park, Alice. "Environmental Toxins." Time Magazine. April 1, 2010. (Jan. 2, 2012) http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1976909_1976895_1976914,00.html
  • Pearce, Cindi. "Top 10 Dangers in Your Home." Catalogs.com. April 2011. (Jan. 6, 2012) http://www.catalogs.com/info/bestof/top-10-dangers-in-your-home
  • Safer Solutions. "Household Hazards." (Jan. 5, 2012) http://www.safersolutions.org.au/latest-news/59/313-new-report-household-hazards-potential-hazards-of-home-cleaning-products
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. "CPSC Releases the 'Top Five Hidden Home Hazards.'" August 2007. (Jan. 8, 2012) http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07256.html
  • USA.gov. "Household Hazards." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Family/Homeowners/Hazards.shtml
  • USA.gov. "Household Hazards." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Family/Homeowners/Hazards.shtml
  • Women's Voice for the Earth. "Dirty Secrets Test Results." (Jan. 3, 2012) http://www.womensvoices.org/science/fact-sheets/dirty-secrets/

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