Many common household cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that can cause a variety of illnesses and injuries. A Chicago personal injury attorney often sees injury claims for skin rashes, respiratory problems, and chemical burns caused by household cleaning products.
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The Dangers of Household Cleaning Products
Every year thousands of household poisonings are reported. Some result in serious injuries, and some result in death. According to Poison Control Centers, children between the ages of one and five account for about 70 percent of all poisoning accidents in the home, and most of those are caused by household cleaning products and medicines. According to statistics, dishwashing detergent is the main cause of accidental poisonings from household cleaning products.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now monitors a total of 298 environmental chemicals that have been found in humans. Over 100 dangerous chemicals in household cleaning products have been linked to skin rashes; allergies; asthma; headaches; chronic fatigue; depression; joint pain; nerve disorders; chest pains; insomnia; birth defects; and cancer. Although toxic chemicals in cleaning products can cause illness and injury to anyone who comes in contact, young children and elderly adults are at higher risk.
The most dangerous cleaning products are corrosive oven and drain cleaners, and acidic cleaners used for toilet bowls.
- Corrosive chemicals found in oven and drain cleaners can cause severe burns on the skin and eyes, and on the throat and esophagus if ingested.
- Products that contain ammonia and chlorine bleach produce fumes that irritate the nose, throat, lungs and eyes. They should be avoided by people with asthma or lung and heart problems.
- If products containing chlorine, ammonia, or lye (found in some oven cleaners) are mixed, they produce a toxic gas that can be lethal if inhaled.
Many of these dangerous cleaning products create workplace hazards, as well as hazards in the home.
Product Liability Claims
Partly due to product liability lawsuits nationwide, many manufacturers of household cleaning products have removed toxic chemicals or created stronger warning labels. However, many dangerous products are sold every day to consumers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, defective and dangerous products account for 35 million injuries and 25,000 fatalities each year. On average, approximately 400 products are recalled every year. In Illinois, a Chicago personal injury attorney files product liability claims for many people who have suffered injuries from dangerous and defective products.