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How to Give First Aid to Treat Mishaps With Common Household Chemicals

Marlene spends numerous hours researching solutions to common and sometimes obscure health and beauty issues. She shares her results here.

Common Household Chemicals

Common household cleaning products found in my home.

Common household cleaning products found in my home.

Household Chemicals Have a Purpose

We clean our homes to remove bacteria and germs, but when we use them incorrectly or when we come into contact with them in an adverse manner, they can be very dangerous.

Most detergents contain surfactants which remove dirt, stains, and soil. Normal use does not usually cause harm; however, when ingested these chemicals can lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Products that have a foaming agent pose a more serious problem because, when swallowed, these products can foam up in the mouth, leading to aspiration.

While sitting on the shelf, stored properly, most common household chemicals are safe. They serve the purpose of keeping our household environments clean, thus keeping us safe from infections and diseases caused by bacteria and germs. But there are cautions to heed and first aid treatments that can be administered in case of improper or accidental contact.

I went through my house and collected the products that I use for cleaning and sustaining my household. I picked up products like laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, window cleaner, rust stain remover, carpet cleaner and such – things that can be found in most households. I diligently read the back of every label for the chemicals, potential dangers, and the first aid treatments prescribed.

Common Household Products, Chemicals, and Potential Danger

ProductsChemicalsPotential Danger

Air Fresheners


Flammable. Irritates the lungs and mucous membranes. Also, may cause cancer.

Air Fresheners (cont.)

Petroleum distillates

Flammable, irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs, fatal pulmonary edema

Air Fresheners (cont.)

p-dichlorobenzene (some contain this)

Toxic irritant to the eyes and respiratory system.


Ethylene glycol

Poisonous if swallowed. When breathed in it can cause dizziness. Drinking can cause serious brain, heart, kidney, and other internal organ damage.


Sodium hypochlorite

Causes irritation and damage to the skin and respiratory system if inhaled or spilled on the skin

Carpet Shampoo

Anionic Surfactant, acrylic copolymer

Can cause eye irritation. Can cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems.

Disinfectant Cleaner

Pine oil. Detergents and other cleaning agents

Can cause eye injury.

Disinfectant Spray

Alkyl, Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Saccharinate, Ethanol

Flammable. Can cause eye injury and skin irritation.

Dishwashing Detergent


Can cause eye irritation. Can cause rashes, itches, allergies, sinus problems.

Drain Cleaners

Lye (sodium hydroxide) or sulfuric acid.

Causes serious chemical burn if splashed on the skin. Toxic when drank. May cause blindness when splashed in the eyes.

Glass Cleaner


Ingestion may cause nausea and vomiting. Fumes may irritate the lungs and mucous membranes.

Hard Water Stain Remover

Sulfuric acid, Ethxoylated Tallow Amine

Corrosive. Harmful is swallowed. Causes eye and skin damage. Causes respiratory damage if fumes are inhaled.

Laundry Detergent

Linear Alkyl Sodium Sulfonates (Anionic Surfactants), Petroleum Distillates, Phenols, Phosphates, Ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate

Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, convulsion, and coma.

Moth Balls

One brand contained p-dichlorobenzene; the other brand contained naphthalene

Toxic and known to cause dizziness, headaches, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Prolonged exposure can lead to liver damage and cataract formation.

Motor Oil


Can cause cancer.

Motor Oil (cont.)

Heavy metals

Can damage the nervous system and other organ systems

Nail Polish Remover

Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzophenone-3, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol

Flammable. Harmful is taken internally. Harmful to clothing, furnishings and plastic.

Oven Cleaner

Sodium hydroxide or Potassium hydroxide

Can be deadly if swallowed. Can cause chemical burns on the skin or in the lungs if the fumes are inhaled.

Rat Poison (Rodenticides)


Can cause internal bleeding if ingested.


Sodium Fluoride

May cause mouth or gum irritation. Can cause hives, swelling in the face or throat and difficulty breathing. There can also be stiffness or aching bones in more serious cases. Can cause fluorosis.

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Ethylene glycol, Methanol, and Isopropyl alcohol

Toxic if drank. Can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled. Can cause dizziness, blindness, brain, heart, and kidney damage, and possibly death.

Warning Symbol for Hazardous Chemicals

When you see the symbol of the skull and crossbones on a product label, it signifies that the chemicals in this product are potentially harmful.

When you see the symbol of the skull and crossbones on a product label, it signifies that the chemicals in this product are potentially harmful.

Common Sense for Common Household Chemicals

When storing and using common household chemicals, some basic handling practices apply:

  • Store all cleaning agents in their original containers.
  • Follow the directions on the label and use only the amount of product recommended. Read labels, follow safety precautions and contact the manufacturer if you have questions.
  • Keep household chemical products out of the reach of young children and pets.
  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or with toilet bowl cleaners or drain cleaners, because this can produce dangerous and possibly deadly fumes that, when inhaled can irritate the respiratory system and mucous membranes.
  • Clean spills and stains immediately.
  • Wear protective gloves when working with harsh chemicals.

Here Are Some of the Caution Statements Found on the Containers I Found in My Home

A general caution pertained to all of the products that I found around my home. On the back of almost all the containers the primary cautions are:

  • Store in original container.
  • Use in a well-ventilated area.
  • Replace cap after use.
  • Offer for recycling, if available.
  • Discard empty container in trash.
  • Do not reuse or refill the container.

The National Research Council on Toxic Chemicals

According to the National Research Council, "no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Less than 20% have been tested for acute effects and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic effects." Most have not been tested for combined or accumulated effects, nor for their effects on unborn children.

-- Lorie Dwornic, researcher, educator, and activist, 2002

First Aid for Products Containing Flammable Chemicals

If you are burned with a flammable chemical, the first thing you should do is call 911 or the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Follow their directions.

In the meantime, the most common first aid solution for treating chemical burns is to flood the area with a slow stream of cool water for at least 20 minutes. Do this until medical help arrives.

Special note: Some chemicals should not be flooded with water immediately. Chemicals to be especially aware of are dry lime, phenols, sodium, potassium, calcium oxide, magnesium, and phosphorous, to name a few. Chemicals such as the ones listed here tend to become activated with water and should be brushed away before washing with water.

Once washed with water, if the skin has not been severely impacted, the burn can be wrapped with a dry, sterile gauze or clean cloth. Note: Severe skin damage requires specific treatment beyond the ability of an ordinary person. Seek medical advice to determine whether or not to cover the burn with a protective salve or ointment.

Precaution: Before using any flammable chemical, you should always read the label to know which active chemicals are contained in the solution. Read the warning and be prepared to administer the first aid advice found on the label.

Products that are flammable have the ability to cause bodily harm, as well as cause a fire to your home and surrounding areas. Most of the products contained in my home had the following cautions:

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  • Do not use near fire, flame or pilot light.
  • Do not set on stove or radiator or keep where temperatures exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, as container may burst.
  • Do not puncture or incinerate.
  • Store in a cool, dry place.

I discovered two products in my household that are highly toxic if swallowed. These are nail polish remover and windshield wiper fluid. The chemicals in these two products can lead to a quick death. The caution statement on the label issued the following warning: "If swallowed, contact the local Poison Control Center and seek emergency medical treatment." No if, ands, or buts – call for immediate help!

Be Aware of Minor Contact With Common Household Chemicals

Most people do not realize that after laundering clothes or washing dishes, some residue from the wash can be left on their clothes, bed sheets, and dishes. Laundered residue can be absorbed through the skin, causing rashes and itchy skin. Residue from washed dishes is left on them, accumulating with each washing. And, the residue gets mixed in with the food.

Some chemicals cause burns. Others may be absorbed through the skin or lungs, causing additional, internal damage.

First Aid for Chemical Exposure

Remove the person away from the area where the chemical may have spilled or has become airborne by way of particles or fumes and remove any clothing or jewelry that have come in contact with the chemical. In some cases, it may be best to cut the clothing off; such is the case if the person is wearing a turtleneck top. If you pull the top off over the person’s head, you risk the chance of spreading the chemical to the person’s face.

Act quickly, because, the longer the chemical remains on the person, the more it continues to react (burn). You may need to wear rubber gloves (if they are readily handy) or use a cloth to handle the clothing so that you, yourself do not come in contact with the chemical.

First aid when the chemical gets into the lungs:

Get the person to an area where he or she can receive fresh air. The person may go into shock or lose the ability to breathe, so you may need to perform rescue breathing or CPR.

First aid when the chemical gets into the eyes:

Flush out the affected eye with water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Pull the eyelid away and move the eyeball in a circle. You want to make sure the entire eye area is flushed out. The water temperature should be cool. If the person is wearing contact lenses, remove the contact lenses after five minutes of rinsing, then continue rinsing. While rinsing, hold the head so that the affected eye is on the bottom and flush from the nose downward. This is to help assure that you do not accidentally flush chemicals into the unaffected eye.

First aid when the chemical gets onto the skin:

First (with gloved hands or a cloth) brush the chemical from the person’s skin. Then, flush the skin with cool water for at least 15 to 20 minutes. The flow of the water should be strong enough to wash away the chemical, but keep in mind that the skin may be sensitive from the chemical burn so do not use a water force that is so strong that it causes pain or breaks blisters.

If the skin becomes burned, treat the burn the same as you would any type of burn. First, cool water should be placed on the burned area immediately. Keep applying cool water for at least 20 minutes. If the person is experiencing pain, they may be given aspirin or other type of pain medication. It is important to prevent the person from going into shock.

If a blister has formed and broken, wash the area with cool, clean water and a mild soap. You should only leave a burn uncovered if you are in an area that is clean (without insects, dust, or chemical fumes). If you can, cover the burn with a wet sterile dressing.

In treating the burn, it is important that you DO NOT:

  • Remove anything stuck to the burn.
  • Apply lotions, fats, or butter.
  • Break blisters.
  • Remove loose skin.
  • Put anything on the chemical burn.

First aid when the chemical is swallowed:

The majority of the products found in my home could be treated with the methods described here. A couple of products, in particular need special mentioning.

One of these products is a cleaning solution that contains Sulfuric Acid, Ethxoylated, and Tallow Amine (Lime Away) used to remove lime, calcium, and rust. The caution statement on the label suggests that if this product is swallowed, rinse the person’s mouth, give them a glass of water AND call the poison control center.

Another product needing special attention is a product that contains pine oil (Pine Sol). The caution statement on the label stated “If swallowed, call a poison control center or doctor immediately for treatment advice. Have the person sip a glass of water if able to swallow.” Twice, on the caution label, you are asked to call the doctor or poison control center for treatment. I would take the ingestion of this product seriously.

For all the other products, if swallowed, the person could be treated by drinking water to dilute the formula. The doctor or poison control center would only need to be called if there were signs of distress.

Chemicals that are swallowed may harm the digestive tract. Even more alarming is the fact that if the chemical enters the bloodstream it can be transported to other parts of the body and cause internal distress to the heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys.

If you are helping a person who has swallowed a harmful chemical, your first objective is to make sure the airway is open. Check the person’s breathing and pulse. Be prepared to perform rescue breathing or CPR.

In most cases, vomiting should not be induced, as this could cause the chemical to burn its way back up. Give the person plenty of water, at least a glass or two. The person should sit or lay with their head and shoulders raised. If the person is unconscious, he or she should be laid on their side. Make sure there is nothing blocking them from breathing.

In administering care to a person who has been severely afflicted with a chemical injury, be aware that they may go into shock because of the amount of pain, fear, and the loss of bodily fluids that ooze out from the burn. It is your responsibility to offer the person comfort. Reassure the person that you are there for them. Do what you can to ease their pain, treat them if they go into shock, and most of all, make sure you give them plenty of liquids.

First aid treatment for shock:

The turmoil of chemical mishaps may cause pain, fear, and loss of bodily fluids. All of this trauma may cause a person to panic and go into shock. If the person goes into shock, have the person lie down with the feet slightly elevated above the head. Cover the person if they feel cold. It is important to keep the person rehydrated. If the person can drink, have them take sips of water.

If the person is unconscious make sure they remain laying down with the feet slightly elevated. If the person appears to be choking, pull their tongue forward with your finger. If the person has vomited, immediately clear the person’s mouth and do not give the person anything by mouth until the person becomes conscious.

Call for medical help.

Warning Found on Toothpaste Label

“Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. When using this product, if irritation occurs discontinue use.” Sodium fluoride can cause hives, swelling in the face or throat and difficulty breathing.”

Special Warning About Toothpaste With Sodium Fluoride

While brushing my teeth, I glanced at the back label on the tube of toothpaste. I knew it was important not to swallow toothpaste. It’s right there on the back of the label, right? But, I'm in a mode now where I am stopping to do research on all the chemicals in my household. I didn’t know how important it was to heed that toothpaste warning until I did research on the active ingredient in my tube of toothpaste. The active ingredient is Sodium Fluoride. In fairness to all brands of toothpaste, I need to mention that all toothpastes are not created equal. There are some toothpaste brands that do not contain this very dangerous chemical compound.

Excessive consumption of Sodium Fluoride is linked to neurological abnormalities, which is one of the reasons the government discontinued the mandation that cities put it in our drinking water. While Sodium Fluoride has its benefits – helping to stop tooth decay, there are some cautions to heed when using toothpaste containing Sodium Fluoride. When used as prescribed on the label, there is not much to worry about. In some cases, though, Sodium Fluoride may cause mouth or gum irritation. If this symptom occurs, discontinue using the product. Contact a doctor if the condition worsens or does not disappear.

More serious side effects include hives, swelling in the face or throat and difficulty breathing. There can also be stiffness or aching bones in more serious cases. And, speaking of serious, a condition known as fluorosis can develop. Fluorosis occurs when a person ingests an excessive amount of fluoride. It can attack the bones of the body or damage the teeth, causing small marks and spots on the teeth, sometimes including a mild transparency of the tooth enamel, which can progress to pitted, cracked, and brittle teeth. The damage caused by fluorosis is permanent so you want to avoid this condition at all costs.

The most important caution about products containing Sodium Fluoride is – do not swallow toothpaste containing Sodium Fluoride.

Contact the American Association of Poison Control Centers

Find your local poison center.
Call 1-800-222-1222.

Residents of the Federated States of Micronesia must dial an access code (288) and then 888-222-4516 to reach a poison center. All other residents of the U.S. and their territories call 1-800-222-2222.

Final Thoughts

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from being injured or poisoned by common household chemicals is to be aware of the harm household chemicals can cause. Store them away from common areas and certainly away from young children and pets. Handle products made with harmful chemicals safely and as prescribed. Most importantly, educate yourself and if possible, look for safer alternatives to the products you use in and around your house.

When calling a poison control center or doctor, have the product container or label handy. This will allow you to relay reliable information about the chemical to the person prescribing professional help and treatment.

Your mishap could easily turn into a life-threatening situation. As in every life-threatening situation, call 911 to summon an ambulance for immediate medical assistance.

And last but not least, remain calm. If you are helping an injured person, give assurance to them so that they may be calm, as well.

First Aid: How to Treat a Chemical Burn


Heller, Jacob, MD, MHA, “Poisoning First Aid,” U.S. National Library of Medicine, January 26, 2015. Accessed June 2, 2017.

Gonzales, Angela, “American Association of Poison Control Centers Releases 33rd Annual Report of the National Poison Data System,” Poison Help, American Association of Poison Control Centers, December 22, 2016. Accessed June 2, 2017.

Mayo Clinic Staff, “Poisoning: First aid,” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), March 26, 2015. Accessed June 2, 2017.

Prioleau, Cassandra, Ph.D., Boja, John, Ph.D., and Ingle, Robin, M.A., “Hazard Screening Report: Home and Family Maintenance Products – Household Chemicals,” United States of America Consumer Product Safety Commission, July 2007. Accessed June 2, 2017.

Fluoride: Topical and Systemic Supplements, Department of Scientific Information, ADA Science Institute, May 1, 2019.

Amarelo, Monica, “Online Tool Lifts Veil of Secrecy for More Than 2,500 Household Products,” Environmental Working Group (EWG), April 6, 2016. Accessed June 2, 2017.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Marlene Bertrand


Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on May 15, 2017:

Hello Mae,

I apologize for the late response. I recently moved to an area that has zero net service so I can only get on the internet every now and then. To answer your question, since I am not a medical professional, I can't really give any reliable treatment ideas. Your best solution would be to see your doctor or a dermatologist to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Mae Saunders on May 09, 2017:


I got a burn from a corrosive floor polish remover. I washed it off and it did not bother me for a few years (about 10) but now it is very itchy and spreading on my food. I have got to the doctor but the cream they gave me did not help. It is so itchy and it bleeds when I scratch it too much. What can I do?

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on August 09, 2015:

Oh Shahina I wish I could advise you on what medicines to take but I cannot give advice on such things. I am not a doctor. If you do not have access to the poison control center, visiting your doctor is the only other advice I can give you.

Shahina sheikh on August 09, 2015:

Hello ma'm..actually my problem is that i got mistake of drinking hazardous chemical from which many problems are created with my body such as daily vomiting and headache and also cavities in my teeth and made cough daily in my throat...and yes i can't go poision control centre thats why i asked u that which medicines should i take? Plz tell me ma'am..

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on May 22, 2015:

Yes, we have to be smart about what chemicals we want to mix together. The fumes can be over powering.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on May 22, 2015:

Hi colorfulone. When I was first living out on my own and had to clean my own house, I made the mistake of getting Comet Cleanser and Clorox together in the sink. I found out quickly what a big mistake that was. I am smarter now.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on May 22, 2015:

Another very informative article by you, Marlene. Some of those chemicals are down right dangerous, especially so if they are used together and have chemical reactions. Thank you for the tips.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on March 09, 2015:

Hello cb. If you were to swallow motor oil, I think the best solution is to go to the emergency room or call the Poison Control Center immediately.

cb on March 08, 2015:

moter oil what happens when its sallowed

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on January 30, 2013:

Thank you for your comment, alocsin. And, thank you for using the chart as a reference. As I did the research for this hub, I developed a new realization for the common chemicals found in my home and removed a lot of products. Now, if I can get my hands on something effective, but less toxic, I go for it.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 27, 2013:

Wow, this is the most useful table I've seen. I'll print it out and put it next to where we keep all the household cleaners. I know children might get into these cleaners, but don't believe that pets mess with them, do they? Voting this Up and Useful. Shared.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on December 22, 2012:

Hello rajan jolly, thank you for your feedback. Once I started reading the labels on the back of the containers in my home, I became more conscientious and careful about the chemicals being used in and around my house.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 22, 2012:

Very useful and important information. We should be aware of the toxic reactions to household chemicals and cleaners and be prepared with the knowledge of what to do in an emergency.

You certainly have put down a great resource here. Voted up and useful.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on May 02, 2012:

Moon Willow Lake, I believe that every product that we use less of is better for us. One less product is one less toxin in our body. You are making a difference for yourself and those you love. Thank you for visiting my hub.

Moon Willow Lake on May 02, 2012:

You are right about the extreme importance of this information. I am very, very glad that you are helping to spread the word about just how dangerous these chemicals are. You have identified the exact reasons why I'll never use air fresheners, use organic fluoride-free toothpaste, and use organic cleaning chemicals whenever possible. I know that doesn't make it 100% safe, but I think that it helps.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 30, 2012:

Thank you, Denise for your acknowledgement and support.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 30, 2012:

Very useful information here, Marlene. I missed this one the other day-congratulations on the HOTD. Very thorough research-rated it up.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 30, 2012:

jbosh1972 - I know you're absolutely right about the chemicals found in nail polish remover. With such limited choices I actually have not been able to find a product without the other chemicals. I stopped wearing nail polish until I can find one. Once I know... I know - right? So, it's difficult for me to feel smart about using products which I know are harmful to me.

RTalloni - Thank you for your congrats! And, thank you for your feedback. Your comments are very appreciated.

vespawoolf - Thank you, vespawoolf. I'm glad you like the chart.

Ausemade - Thank you for your feedback. I'm starting to hear more and more about the wonders of vinegar. I have decided to give it a try for many of my cleaning solutions.

Ausemade from Australia on April 30, 2012:

Useful, interesting, voted up... I started using less and less of the cleaning products, now I mop my floor with a bucket of water mixed with vinegar and a drop of biodegradable, phosphate free and non hazardous floor detergent. My household has changed to a herbal toothpaste and just this week when my partner was away on business, my partner used a left over branded toothpaste and has thrown it out (you could taste the metals in it)... great hub.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 29, 2012:

Congratulations on a well-deserved Hub of the Day! I love the chart with potentially hazardous chemicals. Thank you!

RTalloni on April 29, 2012:

Well done! Thanks f or a good look at the need to be read with first aid in case of an accident with household cleaners. Congrats on your well-deserved Hub of the Day award!

Jason from Indianapolis, IN. USA on April 29, 2012:

Actually the acetone is not as toxic as you might think. It is that other junk you listed in the ingredients. If acetone dries your skin or the odor is

Oppresive, then by all means avoid it. I like to clean painting tools with acetone because it does not make me nauseated like lacquer thinner or mineral spirits.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 29, 2012:

Eric Calderwood - Thank you for visiting and for your feedback. I remember when my oldest daughter would stack folded blankets, pillows, toys, and whatever she could find to help her climb up high enough to reach what she wanted. And, I totally remember Mr. Yuk! Thanks for the memory.

Eric Calderwood from USA on April 29, 2012:

Incredibly well written and informative hub! People really need to know this information. Another thing to remember is to do what you can to avoid mishaps in the first place. For people with pets and small children, putting child safety locks on cupboards that contain chemicals is very important. Specifically the cupboards under the sinks where most people put their cleaning chemicals (little kids and even animals can open low cabinets easily), and the cupboards that you put your medicines and vitamins (little kids love to climb as well and a chair is always available to stand on when no one is looking). And teach your young children in a simple way to stay away from these products. You can even buy stickers with poison symbols on them to put on bottles and teach your children to stay away from them (when I was young my parents had "Mr Yuck" stickers). Congratulations on HOTD, you deserve it!

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 29, 2012:

jbosh1972 - I like your ideas. I am definitely going to try them. I shop at Costco, so I have an abundance of baking soda. Thank you for your tips. And, I'm already on the advice about nail polish remover. No more acetone for me!

Jason from Indianapolis, IN. USA on April 29, 2012:

Baking soda has surpised me in recent years. I have experimented cleaning with it and it does a lot of jobs. Using dishsoap with baking soda is a good cleaner for grease. Also, if you have baked on stains on stainless steel cookware, heating some water with baking soda in it until it bubbles then turn off the heat. After letting it sit 10 minutes, you can litterally wipe the gunk off! Works on burn eggs, cheese, bacon residue!

Nail polish remover is avaiable with different formulas, look for one with a lower toxicity.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 29, 2012:

Kristine Manley - I was surprised to read about the effects of toothpaste, too. At least, the ones with Sodium Fluoride.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 29, 2012:

Thank you all for your positive feedback. You have made my day!

jakefranco - I never thought about using vinegar as a cleaning agent except for using it as a window cleaner. I, recently, read some great information about vinegar. So, I think I'm going to try using it instead of the harmful products I use now.

DzyMsLizzy - I agree, having the emergency numbers handy saves time, which in turn may save a life.

taw2012 - My hope in writing this hub was that it would be helpful for those who read it.

Arlene V. Poma - Yes. We should definitely look into the chemicals contained in those gardening products, as well. They are likely to be far more dangerous than the household chemicals. It makes me think even further and wonder how much of these chemicals go into the root system and how much poison we are consuming because of it.

janikon - Small children and pets are the likely ones to get into these products and they can't tell us which ones they consumed, so it is always wise to put them up.

kelleyward - Hi Kelly! Thank you very much for your congratulations.

pstraubie48 - I know what you mean, however, what kid isn't curious. That's how they learn. You are wise to put locks on the cabinets, becaue although we want our children to learn, we don't want them to learn about the harmful effects of chemicals by accidental ingestion. Right?

urmilashukla23 - I am so happy you find this hub to be helpful. In writing it, my intent was that it would be helpful enough to save someone's life in case of an emergency. Thank you for your feedback.

Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on April 29, 2012:

Great Hub Marlene, the toothpaste swallowing is something I had never thought about even though I don't swallow it. Thanks for the information. Voted up!

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on April 29, 2012:

Very Informative and well written hub. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up!

Congratulations on Hub of the Day!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 29, 2012:

Thank you for sharing these important tips. My grandboy is curious about everything!! I have 'locks' on my cabinets as does my daughter. However accidents can happen so it is important that we keep these tips in mind. Congrats on hub of the day.

kelleyward on April 29, 2012:

This is a great hub. Congrats on HOTD voted up and useful. Take care, Kelley

Arlene V. Poma on April 29, 2012:

Congratulations on the HOTD, Marlene. What??? Why am I awake at 5:57 a.m. on a Sunday??? Now that I've congratulated you, I will return to bed!

janikon on April 29, 2012:

Yikes, my worst fear is my golden retriever getting into one of those cleaners. That chart is pretty fantastic and well-ordered. Thanks for the taking the time to write this one, very informative and great to have to reference. Congratulations on being selected as hub of the day, well deserved.

taw2012 from India on April 29, 2012:

Great hub. Well written article about house hold chemicals. congrats on HOTD.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on April 29, 2012:

Congrats on Hub of the Day! Well done, indeed, and very inportant information that is always timely.

It is well to point out that you should look up and have the poison control center numbers AHEAD OF ANY NEED, and post them in a conspicuous spot. For unlike the "911" service, which virtually everyone knows, the poison control numbers are not actually all that easy to find, and in the middle of an emergency is not when you want to be fumbling through the telephone book, or surfing the internet trying to find your local center.

One day I had a severe brain fart, and forgot that urine has compounds that turn into ammonia--which of course, should never be mixed with bleach. In desperately trying to get rid of a cat-pee accident that had soaked under a damaged spot in the bathroom linoleum, I poured bleach on the spot. WOW! Horrible! I had to open the window and shut the cats out of that room, and take myself outdoors for a good 20 minutes, so badly was I coughing, gagging, and gasping for breath. I came very close to needing a trip to the hospital!

That is interesting about the fluoride toothpaste--and scary. We usually trust that things made to put into our mouths should be safe if ingested, even by accident. Wow!

As far as the warfarin/rat poison--there is a companion caution to that regarding keeping medications safely closed and locked away, because one of the medications often given to heart patients goes under the brand name of Coumadin, but the generic name is...yep...warfarin! They give people that rat poison as a blood thinner! My husband is on the I make VERY sure that it is safe in its bottle and in the drawer so my cats don't accidentally get into it!

Voted up, interesting, awesome, useful and shared!

jakefranco on April 29, 2012:

That's a lot of unwanted chemicals in the kitchen. I always find alternative ways to clean stuff when in the kitchen. Like example vinegar can actually be use as a disinfectant.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 27, 2012:

Arlene V. Poma - Oh, it is so dangerous, the amount of chemicals that are found in the home. And, that's our regular household stuff. Let's not even talk about the gardening stuff. That's a whole other hub. I don't even want to look at the labels on the back of my gardening supplies. It scares me to think about what goes into them.

alissaroberts - Yes. We do need to put them up and out of reach. And, this morning I was brushing my teeth and read the back of the toothpaste label just for fun. I'm adding toothpaste to the list because the warning label makes me not ever want to use toothpaste again. Call the poison control center if you "accidentally" swallow more than is used for brushing. It's scary!

VibrantViews - Thank you. I hope it makes a useful reference guide. Hold off, though... I'm adding toothpaste to the list!

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on April 26, 2012:

Wow my worst nightmare would be if my kids got into one of these household items! That graph with the potential dangers is so scary. Just reinforces the point that all parents have to be so cautious when putting these items up and away from where children can reach them. Great information - voted up and useful!

Arlene V. Poma on April 26, 2012:

VOTED UP! This would be very helpful to post on the inner doors in the kitchen and the bathroom. Now, you've got me thinking, Marlene. I have plenty of chemicals when it comes to gardening (pesticides) and my dogs (fleas). I should check those out, too.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 26, 2012:

Thank you for your feedback.

Faith Reaper - Oh no! When I was first married and had to clean a house all by myself, the same thing happened to me. I didn't really know much about chemicals. Like you, I didn't intentionally mix the chemicals together, but when I went back over an area with another product... oh, the fumes... I have (since that time) learned the basics of using common household products.

ChitrangadaSharan - Thank you. It was a personal goal to make sure I had all the basics covered.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 26, 2012:

Hi there!

Very nice and informative article. You have mentioned almost everything about common household chemicals. Great!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 26, 2012:

Very insightful hub!! I know I almost knocked myself out when cleaning the bathroom. I used a bathroom cleaner first, and then went back with clorox, and wow, it was almost curtains for me. The fumes began burning me eyes and it was hard to breathe. I had to go out into the fresh air for a long while. Thanks for writing this thorough piece. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on April 26, 2012:

Thank you all for your feedback. I am really glad you found the information helpful. I'm almost afraid to use any of my products now that I know how harmful they are. Today, I'll be using gloves to wash the dishes. I dislike wearing gloves, but after reading the label, I believe it is in my best interest to protect myself from chemical exposure.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 26, 2012:

Holy cow! There are so many things that can go wrong with simple household things! I feel like it's a miracle that I've never encountered problems before. Thanks for the great overview of things to look out for. This is a great reference guide!

Linda Liebrand from San Francisco on April 26, 2012:

Thanks for this info - I think I'll have to check through the contents of our kitchen cupboards to get an idea how any potential dangers! Voted up and shared.

Mrs. Menagerie from The Zoo on April 26, 2012:

Wow! Great information here! You've obviously done your homework. I love the chart...great hub Marlene!

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