Saturday, May 4, 2019

5 Most Dangerous Household Chemicals

Household chemicals can totally make our lives easier, but it’s important to remember that many of them are dangerous when used improperly. When an accident strikes, household chemical spills can be a major source of injury and property damage. Make sure these five chemicals are always stored safely in our home or business to maintain safety.
Let’s take an example of  Bhopal disaster, also referred as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident on 2nd and 3rd December, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. Many people lost their lives.

 Ammonia fumes are a powerful annoyance, potentially harming our skin, eyes, nose, lungs and throat. The harmful effects of Cleaning with Ammonia we just can’t ignore. Ammonia is a chemical, which is widely used in the manufacturing of household and industrial cleaners. However, the cleaning products which we use often contain harmful chemicals. Ammonia is known for its very penetrating odor. The smell alone can cause irritation to people with breathing problems. Our eyes may begin to tear up as soon as we smell it, even in the low concentrations that are usually reserved for household cleaning.
Bleach, another useful but dangerous cleaner, bleach also has strong corrosive properties that can do serious damage to the human body. Fumes from bleach are very overpowering, as we can tell by the smell, and when inhaled they can cause a wide variety of health problems.  A European study showed that bleach can react to produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), most of which are toxic. Inhaling these fumes is potentially carcinogenic.

Antifreeze is an additive which lowers the freezing point of a water-based liquid and increases its boiling point. The most common water-based antifreeze solutions used in electronics cooling are mixtures of water and either ethylene glycol (EGW) or propylene glycol (PGW). The use of ethylene glycol has a longer history, especially in the automotive industry. However, EGW solutions formulated for the automotive industry often have silicate based rust inhibitors that can coat and/or clog heat exchanger surfaces. Ethylene glycol is listed as a toxic chemical requiring care in handling and disposal.

Drain Cleaners.
Household drain cleaners are really powerful chemicals, such as sodium hydroxide, caustic potash, peroxide or bleach. Because of their high toxicity levels, they are hazardous – and potentially fatal – if inhaled or swallowed. They will also cause serious burns if allowed contact with the skin.

Air Fresheners
Air fresheners contain phthalates and many other hazardous chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, propellants, solvents, benzenes, and synthetic musks, among others. These findings prove that air fresheners have an acute effect on mice and the potential for toxic effects on humans. Briefly inhaling a small amount of a spray air freshener might cause some coughing, choking, or difficulty catching the breath. These effects should get better quickly with fresh air. Liquid air freshener, when swallowed in small amounts, can cause minor irritation to the mouth, nausea, and vomiting.

Rai University, Ahmedabad
-By Ravi Prajapati

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