The products you use for cleaning, carpentry, auto repair, gardening, and many other household uses can contain ingredients that can harm you, your family, and the environment. These include
- Oven and drain cleaners
- Cleaning and disinfecting products, including bleach and antibacterial cleaners
- Laundry powder
- Floor polish
- Paint thinners, strippers, and removers
- Grease and rust removers
- Motor oil and fuel additives
- Arts and craft supplies
Toxic substances in these products can cause harm if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. People respond to toxic substances in different ways. At high doses, a toxic substance might cause birth defects or other serious problems, including brain damage or death.
To avoid problems, keep products in the containers they come in and use them exactly as the label says. Follow label directions or get medical help if you swallow or inhale them or get them on your skin.
Environmental Protection Agency
Prevention and Risk Factors
- 6 Home Cleaning Recipes (University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Toxics Use Reduction Institute) - PDF
- Household Hazards to Pets (American Veterinary Medical Association) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Making a Healthier Home: Cast Toxins From Your Living Space (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Read the Label First! Protect Your Household (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF
- Chemical Emergency Preparedness (American Red Cross)
- Poison-Proof Your Home One Room at a Time: Pesticide Poison Prevention Checklist (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF - In English and Spanish Also in Spanish
- Recall Listing (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- SaferProducts.gov (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
- What You Should Know about Using Paint Strippers (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Increases in exposure calls related to selected cleaners and disinfectants at...
- Article: Environmental risk assessment of polycarboxylate polymers used in cleaning products in...
- Article: Safety Behaviors to Reduce Risk of Using Chemical Household Products: An...
- Household Products -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Environmental Protection Agency Also in Spanish
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Also in Spanish
- Poison Control Centers (American Association of Poison Control Centers)