The Most Common Household Toxins (and How to Avoid Them)

It’s no secret that toxic chemicals are all around us these days, from the air we breathe down to the toys that our children play with. Although personal care and household product companies have a responsibility to perform due diligence and reduce our exposure to these toxins, however, the truth is that many of these corporations are negligent about what they put in their products.

If you’ve become seriously ill or injured after using a defective product, our toxic substance exposure lawyers can help you get to the bottom of it. Skilled at investigating exposure injuries and holding major corporations accountable for them, our team can serve as your aggressive and determined legal advocates, and seek out the maximum compensation for your claim.

In this post, we’ll discuss the top household toxins, and how you can help your family and friends to avoid exposure.

Defining a Toxic Substance

Many toxic substances are self-evident, such as antifreeze or drain cleaner, and there is no question that exposure can be harmful to your health. For others, it may not always be clear how the exposure incident occurred, as there could be a specific batch contamination or an intrinsic design flaw at work behind the scenes.

However, in order to prove a product liability case, you can’t just show that a product is harmful for human health: You need to demonstrate that it was harmful even when used as intended, and that the manufacturing company acted in a negligent manner when constructing it. In other words, to receive compensation, it needs to be crystal clear that the product in question was directly responsible for your injuries.

Identifying Toxins in Your Home

Here are some of the most common toxins you may find around the house, and some ways you can avoid using them:

  • Lead: Although it’s illegal to use lead paint in a home now, older houses and buildings may have lead paint traces still present, or even hidden underneath layers of new paint. Certain toys have also been found to contain lead, especially when imported. Make sure to check your home carefully with a lead test if it’s older than 25 years old, and read all the labels on toys that you give to your children – it could prevent you from sustaining lead exposure injuries.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): There are hundreds of irritating chemicals present in household cleaning products that can aggravate asthma and respiratory conditions, as well as put you at a higher risk for cancer. These can be found in aerosol sprays, dry cleaning chemicals, detergent, and furniture polish, to name a few. To reduce your risk of exposure, try creating your own DIY cleaning alternatives from essential oils, castile soap, vinegar, baking soda, and other natural substances.
  • Asbestos fibers and particles. It may sound impossible, but asbestos fibers have been found in everything from cosmetics products to Johnson & Johnson’s signature baby powder product. Because asbestos is mined close to talc underground, anything that contains talcum powder could put you at risk for asbestos-caused diseases like mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Look for alternative mineral powders, especially when buying cosmetics.
  • 2-butoxyethanol: 2-butoxyethanol and ethoxylate surfactants have been condemned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as dangerous chemicals, but they’re still present in many common all-purpose cleaners and other household cleaners. Make sure to carefully read the labels of any cleaning products and check online for information about their toxicity.
  • Phthalates: Also called “plasticizers,” phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have been universally decried by scientists at EWG and the CDC. Linked to painful conditions like breast cancer, diabetes, hormone and reproductive disorders, and neurodevelopmental disorders, this class of chemicals can be found in plastic containers, air fresheners, cosmetics, and perfumes. As with cleaners, make sure to check every label and avoid plastic use whenever possible – glass makes for a fantastic alternative!

When Do I Have a Toxic Exposure Case?

If you’ve used any household product containing these chemicals and sustained serious injuries, it could be worth investigating whether these products played a role. As seasoned product liability attorneys, we can help you determine whether toxic exposure was behind your condition, and then take swift action to seek justice on your behalf. At Tedford & Associates, we focus on providing transparent and skilled representation for those who have been hurt in this manner, and we’re ready to help you secure peace of mind for your family's future.

Call (626) 325-0142 today if you have suffered a serious health complication after using a toxic household product.


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