Many common items that we use in our daily lives could pose unexpected dangers at times. While these items can be useful for us in many ways and appear harmless, staying unaware of their risks might create hazardous circumstances.

These are the five commonly used items that come with hidden health risks:

1. Mattress

The mattress you're using to get a good night's sleep are prone to dust and dust mites that might trigger allergies and lead to a serious health risk over time. Consider cleaning your mattress and bedding often, and replace your mattress if it's over eight to ten years old.

2. Air Fresheners

While air fresheners can help to get rid of unpleasant smells at your home, it also releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contain gasses that can trigger allergies. Some of the air fresheners also contain phthalates, a chemical that can cause hormone imbalance, birth defects, and other medical problems. Opening your home windows to improve ventilation is always a great idea to reduce unpleasant odors.

3. Plastic Containers

The plastic containers or packaging that we use regularly might contain PFA (perfluoroalkyl) substances that might accumulate in our bodies and pose great health risks over time, and the severity increases when plastic containers are used for reheating food. Among the health risk associated with this includes thyroid and immune system-related issues, as well as cancer. Glass containers are considered a safer alternative.

4. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers have become a commonly used item due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While sanitizers are used as one of the Covid-19 prevention measures, the high demand for the product has caused some companies to use a different type of alcohol known as methanol instead of ethanol or isopropanol. The usage of methanol can be risky, and it's always advised to wash your hands regularly. You can also check the product for methanol before purchasing the sanitizers.

5. Button Battery

Button batteries are mostly used in watches, remotes, and toys that might be subject to choking hazards. These batteries will break down and release toxic chemicals if exposed to stomach acid, leading to burns in the digestive tracts. Thus, it's advisable to keep these batteries away from kids or pets.

Source: Readers Digest
Images credit: The Guardian, Expert Reviews & Chemical Safety Facts