Innovative Sealing Solutions, Inc.
Home      Dangerous Chemicals in Your Home
Print this pageAdd to Favorite


How Much Impact Do Toxic Chemicals 
Have on Society? Read the Statistics.

 


More than 7 million accidental poisonings occur each year, with more than 75% involving children under age 6!

—The Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

According to the U.S. Poison Control Centers, "A child is accidentally poisoned every 30 seconds at home..."

The Average American Uses about 25 Gallons of toxic, hazardous chemical products per year in their home...
A major portion of these can be found in household cleaning products.

—"Prosperity Without Pollution,"
by Joel S. Hirschorn and Kirsten V. Oldenburg, 1991

Women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home. The 15-year study concluded it was as a direct result of the much higher exposure rate to toxic chemicals in common household products!

—Toronto Indoor Air Conference 1990

The toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution.

– Environmental Protection Agency report in 1985

Cancer rates have increased since 1901 from only 1 in 8,000 Americans, to 1 in 3 today! By the year 2010, this disease will afflict 1 of every 2 individuals!

—American Cancer Society

Of chemicals commonly found in homes, 150 have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities.

 —Consumer Product Safety Commission

Cancer rates have continued to increase every year since 1970. Brain cancer in children is up 40% in 20 years. Toxic chemicals are largely to blame.

—NY Times, September 29, 1997

When combined, chemicals are even more dangerous. Deadly fumes result from mixing ammonia with bleach (both found in many household products) creating lethal “mustard gas”!

 —U.S. Government, E.P.A.

According to the National Research Council, no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products.

Only 1% of toxins are required to be listed on labels, because companies classify their formulas as "trade secrets."

Lorie Dwornick, researcher, educator and activist, 2002

In the past 50 years more than 75,000 chemicals have been introduced into the environment. Today 300 synthetic chemicals are found in the bodies of humans. Even newborn babies have synthetic chemicals passed on from their mothers.

 —REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and 
Authorization of Chemicals, a European Union program)

Unregulated air pollution has caused one in six children in the Central Valley of California to suffer from asthma.  More than 5000 children in the San Joaquin Valley Air District are hospitalized each year for asthma. The death rate from respiratory diseases in the Imperial Valley -- at times more than double that of the rest of the state.  Up to 2.2 million Californians suffer from asthma.

 —California's State Department of Health Services

Nationwide, air pollution causes between 50,000 and 100,000 premature deaths per year – and soot accounts for a majority of these. Soot is the most deadly air pollutant, accounting for more deaths than homicides or automobile accidents. According to the California Air Resources Board, diesel soot accounts for 70 percent of the cancer risk from toxic air pollution statewide.

—Earthjustice

The Washington (state) Department of Health discovered that one fourth of tested farm workers handling pesticides were overexposed to extremely hazardous chemicals. Carbamates or organophosphates can cause dizziness, breathing problems, muscle twitching, and paralysis. 

Scientists are discovering a whole universe of health effects associated with the products of our industrial age with profound implications for public health and regulatory policy. The continuous appearance of toxic effects at lower and lower levels of exposure is especially troubling since low-level exposure to some chemicals is practically universal.

 —The 2050 Project Newsletter, Fall 1994;
State of the World 1994, Worldwatch Institute

More than 32 million pounds of household cleaning products are poured down the drain each day nationwide. The toxic substances found in many of these are not adequately removed by sewage treatment plants. Guess what happens when these are returned to the rivers from which cities draw their drinking water?

 —Spring 2002 Edition of CCA Newsletter Partners "Cleaning Without Toxic Chemicals"

  • More than 75,000 chemicals are licensed for commercial use.
  • More than 2,000 new synthetic chemicals are registered every year.
  • The EPA tallied close to 10,000 chemical ingredients in cosmetics, food and consumer products. Very few of these chemicals were in our environment or our bodies just 75 years ago.
  • In 1998, U.S. industries manufactured 6.5 trillion pounds of 9,000 different chemicals.
  • In 2000, major American companies dumped 7.1 billion pounds of 650 different industrial chemicals into our air and water.
  • Except in the case of foods, drugs or pesticides, companies are under no legal or regulatory obligation to concern themselves with how their products might harm human health.

—Alexandra Rome, Co-director of 
the Sustainable Futures Group 
at Commonweal, a nonprofit health 
and environmental research institute, 
until 2000.

  • Within 26 seconds after exposure to chemicals such as cleaning products , traces of these chemicals can be found in every organ in the body
  • More than 1.4 million Americans exposed to household chemicals were referred to poison control centers in 2001.  Of these, 824,000 were children under 6 years.
  • A New York sanitation worker was killed in 1998 when a hazardous liquid in household trash sprayed his face and clothes.

At any given time, there is 3.36 million tons of household hazardous waste to contend with in our country. 

Chec's HealtheHouse,
the resource for Environmental 
Health Risks Affecting Your Children

  • In 1990, more than 4,000 toddlers under age four were admitted to hospital emergency rooms as a result of household cleaner-related injuries. That same year, three-fourths of the 18,000 pesticide-related hospital emergency room admissions were children.
  • Over 80 percent of adults and 90 percent of children in the United States have residues of one or more harmful pesticides in their bodies.

Petrochemical cleaning products in the home are easily absorbed into the skin. Once absorbed, the toxins travel to the blood stream and are deposited in the fatty tissues where they may exist indefinitely.

—"In Harm's Way," a study by 
"The Clean Water Fund" and 
"Physicians for Social Responsibility" 
May 11, 2000



Household Hazardous Products and Ingredients



Product type

Possible Ingredients

Potential Hazards

Air Freshener and Deodorizer

Formaldehyde

Toxic; carcinogen; irritant to eyes, nose, throat, and skin; may cause nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, memory loss, and shortness of breath.

Bleach

Sodium hypochlorite

Corrosive, irritates or burns skin, eyes, respiratory tract; may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested; contact with other chemicals may cause chlorine fumes.

Disinfectant

Sodium hypochlorite

Corrosive; irritates or burns skin, eyes; may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested.

Phenols

Flammable; very toxic; respiratory, circulatory, or cardiac damage.

Ammonia

Vapor irritating to eyes, respiratory tract, and skin; possible chronic irritation.

Drain Cleaner

Sodium or potassium hydroxide (lye)

Caustic; irritant; inhibits reflexes; burns to skin, eyes; poisonous if swallowed due to severe tissue damage.

Hydrochloric acid

Corrosive; irritant; damage to kidney, liver, and digestive system.

Trichloroethane

Irritant to nose and eyes; central nervous system depression; liver and kidney damage if ingested.

Flea Powder

Carbaryl

Very toxic; interferes with human nervous system; may cause skin, respiratory system, cardiovascular system damage.

Dichlorophene

Skin irritation; may damage liver, kidney, spleen, and central nervous system.

Chlordane and other chlorinated hydrocarbons

Very slow biodegradation; accumulates in food chain; may damage eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin.

Floor Cleaner Wax

Diethylene glycol

Toxic; causes central nervous system depression and kidney, liver lesions.

Petroleum solvents

Highly flammable; associated with skin and lung cancer; irritant to skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs.

Ammonia

Vapor irritation to eyes, respiratory tract, and skin; possible chronic irritation.

Furniture Polish

Petroleum distillates or mineral spirits

Highly flammable; moderately toxic; associated with skin and lung cancer; irritant to skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs; entry into lungs may cause pulmonary edema.

Oven Cleaner

Sodium or potassium hydroxide (lye)

Caustic; irritant; inhibits reflexes; burns to skin, eyes; poisonous if swallowed due to severe tissue damage.

Paint Thinner

Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons

Slow decomposition; liver and kidney damage.

Esters

Toxicity varies with specific chemical; causes eye, nose, and throat irritation and anesthesia.

Alcohols

Volatile and flammable; eye, nose, and throat irritation.

Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons

Flammable; toxic; accumulate in food chain.

Ketones

Flammable; toxicity varies with specific chemical; may cause respiratory ailments.

Paint

Aromatic hydrocarbon thinners

Flammable; skin irritant; benzene is a carcinogen; possible liver and kidney damage.

Mineral spirits

Highly flammable; skin, eye, nose, throat, lung irritant; very high air concentrations may cause unconsciousness, death.

Spot Remover

Perchlorethylene or trichloroethane

Slow decomposition; liver and kidney damage; perchlorethylene is suspected carcinogen.

Ammonium hydroxide

Corrosive; vapor extremely irritable to skin, eyes, and respiratory passages; ingestion causes tissue burns.

Sodium hypochlorite

Corrosive; irritates skin, eyes, respiratory tract; may cause pulmonary edema and skin burns.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Sodium acid sulfate or oxalate or hypochloric acid

Corrosive; burns from skin contact or inhalation; ingestion may be fatal.

Chlorinated phenols

Flammable; very toxic; respiratory, circulatory, or cardiac damage.

Window Cleaner

Diethylene glycol

Toxic; causes central nervous system depression and degenerative lesions in liver and kidneys.

Ammonia

Vapor irritating to eyes, respiratory tract, and skin; possible chronic irritation.

Wood Stain/Varnish

Mineral spirits, gasoline

Highly flammable; associated with skin and lung cancer; irritant to skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs; entry into lungs may cause fatal pulmonary edema.

Methyl and ethyl alcohol

Flammable; damage to eyes, skin, central nervous system.

Benzene

Flammable; carcinogen; accumulates in fat, bone marrow, liver tissues.

Lead

Damage to digestive, genitourinary, neuro-muscular and central nervous system; anemia and brain damage.

Antifreeze

Ethylene glycol

Very toxic, 3 ounces can be fatal to adult; damage to cardiovascular system, blood, skin, and kidneys.

Methanol

Moderately toxic; ingestion may cause coma, respiratory damage.

Car Wax, Polish

Petroleum distillates

Associated with and lung cancer; irritant to skin, eyes, nose, lungs; entry into lungs may cause fatal pulmonary edema.

Motor Oil/Gasoline

Petroleum hydrocarbons (benzene)

Highly flammable; associated with skin and lung cancer; irritant to skin, eyes, nose, throat, lungs; pulmonary edema; benzene is a carcinogen.

Lead

Damage to digestive, genitourinary, neuro-muscular, and central nervous system; anemia and brain damage.