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15 Common Kitchen Items That Are Secretly Toxic

toxic kitchen items

Oven and drain cleaners

Many oven and drain cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (also known as lye), a corrosive substance that can cause severe burns if it comes in contact with your skin or eyes. “Oven cleaners are sprayed, which means you can end up breathing it into your lungs,” says Rick Sachleben, PhD, expert for the American Chemical Society. If inhaled, sodium hydroxide can cause a sore throat that can last for several days. Drain cleaners also contain sodium dioxide and can be hazardousthat’s why they come with instructions and warnings, he says. When cleaning with these toxic substances it is important to always wear gloves, and make sure the area is well ventilated, says Becky Turpin, director of Home and Community Safety at the National Safety Council. “Turn on a fan if you have one, and open windows,” she advises, and “wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.”

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