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| Last Updated:: 01/04/2016

Household Chemicals Chart

 

 

Household Chemicals Chart: What's in my House

Potentially dangerous chemicals can be found in every room in your home. If not properly stored or used, these products could end up in you or your child’s body or on you or your child’s skin and cause minor to serious and even life-threatening health problems. What are these every day household chemicals? Let’s take a tour of the rooms of your home and discover what some of these chemicals are and what health harms they may cause.

Keep in mind that most household cleaning products and pesticides are reasonably safe when used as directed, and that the level of toxicity of a product is dependent on the dose of the product used (never use more than the amount listed on the label) and the length of exposure to the product.

 

Product

Hazardous Ingredient

Possible Effects

In the garage

Antifreeze

Ethylene glycol

Poisonous if swallowed -- can cause severe damage to heart, kidneys, brain. Inhalation can cause dizziness.

Motor oil

Heavy metals

Can cause nerve and kidney damage; is thought to cause cancer

 

Hydrocarbons

Some forms thought to cause cancer.

Batteries (car, boat, tractor)

Sulfuric acid

Can cause severe skin burns, and blindness

 

Lead

Can cause nerve and kidney damage; is thought to cause cancer

Windshield washer fluid

Methanol

Can damage the nervous system, liver, kidneys; inhalation can lead to lung disease; ingestion can cause blindness

 

Ethylene glycol

Poisonous if swallowed -- can cause severe damage to heart, kidneys, brain. Inhalation can cause dizziness.

 

Isopropanol

Can irritates mucous membranes; ingestion results in drowsiness, unconsciousness and death

Paint

Organic solvents

Can irritate eyes and skin; cause cracking of skin. Inhaling paint fumes can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue

In the laundry room/utility room

Laundry detergent

Cationic, anionic, or non- ionic solutions

If swallowed, cationic detergents can cause nausea, vomiting, shock, convulsions, and coma. Non-ionic detergents can irritate skin and eyes

All-purpose cleaners

Ammonia

Fumes can irritate eyes and lungs; can cause burns or rashes on skin; can produce deadly chloramine gas if mixed with chlorine containing products

 

Ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate

Poisonous if swallowed -- can cause severe damage to heart, kidneys, brain. Inhalation can cause dizziness.

 

Sodium hypochlorite

Corrosive to skin and lining of nose mouth and throat; fumes irritating to eyes and respiratory tract

Bleach

Sodium hypochlorite solution

Corrosive to skin and lining of nose mouth and throat; fumes irritating to eyes and respiratory tract

Pet flea and tick treatments

Organophosphates and carbamates

Can cause headache, dizziness, twitching, nausea; shown to cause cancer in animals

Insecticides

Organophosphates and carbamates

Can cause headache, dizziness, twitching, nausea; shown to cause cancer in animals

In the kitchen

Dishwashing detergents

Cationic, anionic, or non- ionic solutions plus phosphates (automatic dishwasher detergents)

Automatic products can cause skin irritation or burns; hand dishwashing products are milder, though can cause irritation to mouth, throat, and GI tract

Oven cleaners

Lye (consisting of either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide)

Extremely corrosive, burns skin and eyes; can be fatal if swallowed; aerosols disperse chemicals, increasing inhalation dangers

Antibacterial cleaner

Ammonia, Detergents, Lye

see descriptions above

 

Cresol

Can be corrosive to tissue; damages liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas and spleen

 

Phenol

Can cause central nervous system depression; severely affect circulatory system; corrosive to skin; suspected of causing cancer

 

Pine oil

Can irritate eyes and lining of nose mouth and throat

Window and glass cleaner

Ammonia

Fumes can irritate eyes and lungs; can cause burns or rashes on skin; can produce deadly chloramine gas if mixed with chlorine containing products

 

isopropanol

Can irritates mucous membranes; ingestion results in drowsiness, unconsciousness and death

Insect bait traps

Organophosphates and carbamates

Can cause headache, dizziness, twitching, nausea; shown to cause cancer in animals

In the bathroom

Toilet bowel cleaners

Sodium bisulfate

Forms sulfuric acid, which is corrosive, burns skin

 

Oxalic acid

Can damage kidney and liver; irritate eyes and respiratory tract; corrodes mouth and stomach

 

5-dimethyldantoin

Forms hypochlorite in water, which is corrosive to skin and mucous membranes

 

Hydrochloric acid

Fumes are extremely corrosive; burns skin

 

Phenol

Can cause central nervous system depression; severely affect circulatory system; corrosive to skin; suspected of causing cancer

Mold and mildew removers

Chlorine and alkyl ammonium chlorides

Can cause breathing problems; if swallowed, can burn throat

Drain cleaners

Lye and sulfuric acid

Can cause burns to skin and in severe cases, blindness if splashed in eye

In the living room

Rug, carpet, upholstery cleaners

Perchloroethylene

Fumes cause dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, loss of appetite and disorientation; can cause cancer with long-term exposure

 

Naphthalene

Can damage liver; prolonged vapor exposure has led to cataract formation

Furniture polish

Ammonia, naphtha, nitrobenzene, petroleum distillates, and phenol

Can irritate your skin, eyes, throat, lungs and windpipe; if swallowed, furniture polish can cause nausea and vomiting

Air fresheners

Formaldehyde

A strong irritant to the eyes, throat, skin and lungs; thought to cause cancer

 

Petroleum distillates

Can irritate skin, eyes, respiratory tract; may cause fatal pulmonary edema; flammable

 

P-Dichlorobenzene

Fumes can be irritating to skin, eyes and throat

 

Aerosol propellants

Fumes associated with brain damage or highly flammable

Household foggers

Pyrethrins

Can cause severe allergic dermatitis, systemic allergic reactions. Large amounts may cause nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, headache, & other CNS disturbances

 

Permethrin

Can cause itching and burning of the skin and eyes; irritate the upper respiratory tract

 

Methoprene

Can irritate the skin and eyes

In the bedroom

Mothballs

Naphthalene, P-Dichlorobenzene

Can cause headaches, dizziness, and irritate the skin, eyes, and throat; cataract formation and liver damage can results from prolonged exposure

In the backyard, pool and garden shed

Swimming pool chloride tablets

Sodium (or calcium) hypochlorite

Corrosive to skin and lining of nose mouth and throat; fumes irritating to eyes and respiratory tract

Insect repellents

Butopyronoxyl

Can cause mild necrosis in liver and kidney –in animals

 

Cimethyl phthalate

Can cause central nervous system depression if swallowed

 

Diethyltoluamide (DEET)

Can irritate sensitive skin and respiratory tract tissues as well as loss of coordination, anxiety, behavioral changes, and mental confusion

Weed killers

diquat, 2,4-D, and glyphosate

Can irritate the eyes and skin; can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Rodent control

warfarin

Causes internal bleeding if ingested in large amounts

 

References

  • The Environmental Working Group. Cleaning Supplies and Your Health Accessed 3/4/2014.
  • National Institutes of Health. National Library of Medicine. Household Products Database: Health and Safety Information on Household Products Accessed 3/4/2014.
  • FEMA/Ready.gov. Household Chemical Emergencies Accessed 3/4/2014.
  • Osterhoudt KC, Penning TM. Chapter 4. Drug Toxicity and Poisoning. In: Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC. eds. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12e. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. library.ccf.org Accessed 3/4/2014.