10 Potential Death Traps Lurking in Your Home


Under the Sink

Though all home-based threats should be taken seriously, perhaps none are more readily available, or more easily avoidable, than the chemicals in many household products, from cleaners to bonding agents. Don't be fooled by the quaint packaging. A quick look at the warning labels is enough to prove that these products can pack a wallop and can be potentially fatal.

According to the Virginia-based American Association of Poison Control Centers, the country's 57 poison centers fielded 3.9 million calls in 2010, an average of nearly 11,000 calls per day. Experts at the nation's poison centers treated 2.4 million human poison exposures and handled 1.5 million information calls in 2010. And while children younger than 6 accounted for about half of all the poison exposure calls, adults 20 and older accounted for 92 percent of all deaths reported [source: AAPCC].

While 75 percent of all calls to the poison centers originated from the person's home, the AAPCC estimates that roughly 90 percent of all poisonings happen at home. The good news is that cleaning products and other household chemicals, from bleach and polishes to solvents and air fresheners, aren't hidden dangers.

If you have curious toddlers, make sure you have child safety latches on all your cabinet doors. Even better, consider keeping these products far away for your primary living space, storing them in the basement, garage or outdoor shed. Also be aware of everyday household products that contain dangerous chemicals and compounds, such as thermometers (mercury).

Next up, there are more bathroom dangers ahead.