Kitchen items that may be toxic
The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the house because it’s where most of the cooking and eating takes place. It’s also a place that can harbour hidden toxins and potential hazards when it comes to your health. Many products used in the kitchen, ranging from non-stick cooking pans to plastic storage containers, can pose a health risk at certain levels – and even germ-killing cleaning products can pose a hazard if not used correctly.
Read on to learn about the most common and surprising kitchen items that may be toxic and risky to your health.
Oven and drain cleaners
Many oven cleaners and drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (also known as lye), a corrosive substance that can cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. Oven cleaners are sprayed, which means you can end up breathing it into your lungs, if inhaled, sodium hydroxide can cause a sore throat that can last for several days. Drain cleaners also contain sodium dioxide and can be hazardous – that’s why they come with instructions with warnings, he says. When cleaning with these toxic substances it is important to always wear gloves, and make sure the area is well ventilated, says Becky Turpin, director of Home and Community Safety. “Turn on a fan if you have one, and open windows. Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.”
Multipurpose cleaners promise to make life easier by being able to clean a variety surfaces but many contain the harmful chemical 2-Butoxyethanol, a glycol ether that, according to the Environmental Working Group, may cause a variety of ailments from skin irritation and sore throats (when inhaled) to more serious conditions such as liver and kidney damage. “Depending on the type of cleaner, these products may contain ammonia, perchloroethylene (“PERC”), 2-butoxyethanol, or sodium hydroxide,” says Turpin. “All of these chemicals can have negative side effects if ingested or inhaled, and the potential complications range from skin irritation to organ damage.”