Hidden Hazards: 6 Common Household Items That Could Be Endangering Your Health

It’s sometimes hard to believe that anything businesses are legally able to sell today could be hazardous to our health. After all, they must go through rigorous testing and receive FDA approval. 

However, you might be surprised to discover that many of the most common household items can actually be harmful. When you learn about the dangers, you might wish to steer clear of the following products.

Nonstick Cookware Sets

While a high-quality nonstick cookware set you purchase from a reputable stockist likely won’t be harmful to your health, inferior quality ones can be. Nonstick cookware sets with the manufactured chemical substance perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are designed to resist grease, heat, water, and sticking, but these abilities come at a cost. 

According to numerous studies, PFOA exposure might contribute to several illnesses and conditions, such as blood pressure changes, kidney and testicular cancer, liver damage, and thyroid disease. 

Extension Cords

Extension cords can be a convenient household product, especially since the average homeowner has an abundance of electronics that can’t always be powered near outlets. 

However, many people aren’t aware that extension cords have voltage limitations and can become a fire hazard when those limitations are exceeded. Approximately 4,600 residential fires are linked to extension cord use in the United States each year, resulting in the deaths of about 70 people and hundreds of injuries. 

Oven Cleaner

You likely won’t be the first to put your hand up and say oven cleaning is your favorite chore. However, it is necessary for hygiene. Before reaching for traditional oven cleaners with corrosive alkalis, however, consider the potential health implications. 

Harsh oven cleaning products can harm your gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives, such as baking soda and vinegar. 


Winter can be a challenging time of year, especially when it’s too wet and cold to dry clothes outside. As a result, many Americans rely on dryers, which can provide a fast and efficient 45-minute drying cycle. 

As convenient as dryers are, they can also be dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, close to 3,000 dryer fires are reported each year, claiming the lives of five people and injuring at least 100. In at least 34% of those fires, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause. 

Button Batteries

Button batteries feature in many children’s toys, gadgets, and everyday items. While they seem innocent enough, they can be deadly in the wrong hands, with people swallowing them at risk of complications like gastrointestinal perforation and aortoesophageal fistulas. 

According to the United States National Poison Data System, there was a 66.7% increase in yearly ingestion in the ten years between 1999 and 2019. Emergency rooms also see at least 2,800 children annually, or one child every three hours, for button battery ingestion. 

Electric Blankets

Many people wouldn’t be without their electric blankets. Rather than slipping in between ice-cold sheets, you can slide into a warm and snuggly bed and fall asleep faster. 

As enjoyable as it is not to have to rely on your own body heat, electric blankets can be hazardous, and not necessarily for the reasons you think. 

According to studies, electric blankets pose a heat-related illness risk. At least two people have died from fatal heat strokes caused by overheating in beds with electric blankets. 

You might buy any of the household items above without a second thought, but now might be the right time to put your safety first. Before purchasing new cookware, bedding, or household appliances, take a moment to consider if any safer alternatives exist.

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