Chemicals enter our bodies in three ways: ingestion, inhalation, and absorption. This post will focus on the first – Ingestion, particularly the ingestion of toxic chemicals. Here are two very scary statistics: one is that poison centers answer more than 3.6 million calls each year (one call every eight seconds). According to the American Association of Poison Centers, children younger than 6 years old account for about half of the calls placed to poison centers. The other is that every day two children die and more than 300 kids under the age of 19 are treated in emergency rooms as a result of unintentional poisoning. In fact, over the last decade, there’s been an 80 percent increase in child poisoning deaths.
Ingestion of Toxic Chemicals
Common products that could seriously harm a child if ingested include:
- Bath and kitchen disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach.
- Household cleaning detergents.
- Household maintenance products, such as drain cleaner, paints, or glues.
- Automotive products stored around the home, such as anti-freeze or windshield washer fluid.
- Health or beauty care products such as medicines, hair, and nail products. Also products like mouthwash, hairspray, and perfume.
- Roach sprays and baits, Insect repellents, and rat and other rodent poisons.
- Weed killers.
- Products used to kill mold or mildew.
- Flea and tick shampoos, powders, and dips for pets.
- Swimming pool chemicals
The number-one substance causing child poisonings in 2011 was personal care products.
Prevent Toxic Chemical Poisonings
Prevention is the key. Remember to lock up products that could potentially harm children. Poisoning incidents are preventable.
Simple steps you can take to prevent toxic chemical poisonings from occurring in your home:
- Always store pesticides and other household chemical products in a locked cabinet or garden shed away from both children and pets.
- Read the product label first and follow the directions to the letter.
- Use the safest possible cleaning products.
- Never leave pesticides and other household chemical products unattended when you are using them.
- Re-close pesticides and other household chemical products if interrupted during application (e.g., phone call, doorbell, etc.).
- Use child-resistant packaging properly by closing the container tightly after use.
- Never transfer pesticides and other household chemical products to containers that may be mistaken for food or drink.
- Get your home and child tested for lead.
- Have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home.
What toxic chemical containing products are in your home?
While it’s more convenient to store your bathroom and kitchen cleaners within reach close to or under the sink, all of these products should be stored in cabinets with a lock or on a high shelf. And keep them in their original containers, which may have a childproof closure, and not in bottles that resemble food or drink containers. Make sure to read all your labels and opt for products that are safer for your home. You can purchase your products from a manufacture invested heavily in research, development and reformulation to ensure that their ingredients and finished product are safer while delivering performance. You can remove toxins from your home and keep your family safe.