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Household Poisons

Common Poisons at Home


Updated January 23, 2014

There are common household substances that are poisonous to humans. Take caution when using these items. Some chemicals become toxic when mixed together, others are poisonous when used as directed.

Mixing Bleach and Ammonia

In case your mom didn't tell you, it's a very bad idea to mix bleach and ammonia. The gas that results from these two chemicals is such a strong poison, it was used in the past as a chemical warfare agent.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that displaces oxygen in the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide can leak from any gas motor; lawn mowers, cars, boats, etc. It can also occur from gas burning appliances that are not calibrated correctly.


Organophosphates are some of the most deadly poisons in the home. Most pesticides, including lice shampoos, either have organophosphates in them or have similar characteristics. Pesticide poisoning creates a reaction that quickly leads to death if untreated. Organophosphates are currently used as nerve gas by some militaries. Use these chemicals with great care and always follow the manufacturers' recommendations.

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning is not really poisoning at all, but a foodborne bacterial illness. Most food poisoning is not life-threatening, but vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration.

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