Five surprising health hazards lurking in your office
Unfortunately, harmful chemicals can be found in the toner cartridge in your printer and in many more everyday products including white out, dust remover and even batteries.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created an entire database of potential health hazards found in household products around the home and office.
Here are five office items you encounter every day that could be hazardous to your health:
- Spray away lint and dust remover. Dust remover is a product utilized to remove dust particles from computer keyboards, monitors, and towers. This aerosol is composed of a harmful vapor that if inhaled may cause heart irregularities, unconsciousness, or death. Even eye or skin contact with the liquid may cause freezing or frost bite. Avoid breathing the vapor and keep the container away from heat and flames. Always use with adequate ventilation.
- Laser toner cartridge. Minimal respiratory tract irritation may occur with exposure to large amounts of toner dust. Prolonged inhalation of excessive amounts of dust may cause lung damage. However, use of this product as intended does not result in inhalation of excessive amounts of dust. Keep excess containers closed and stored at room temperatures.
- Paper Mate liquid drying correction fluid. This product is considered safe under normal use, however, if vapors are deliberately inhaled, the following symptoms may occur: respiratory irritation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiac sensitization, coma, and death.
- Coppertop alkaline batteries. If the chemicals and metals inside the battery are exposed to high temperatures, they may leak or explode causing burn injuries. Respiratory and eye irritation may occur if fumes are released due to heat or an abundance of leaking batteries. Always store batteries at room temperature and avoid mechanical or electrical abuse. Do not carry batteries loose in your pocket or purse.
- Elmers extra strength office glue stick. No ingredients in this product are hazardous as defined by the Department of Labor; however, it may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs if allowed to become airborne. Avoid prolonged or repeated breathing of the vapor.
Diana Dietz is the Communications Manager at the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®. Follow Diana on Twitter.