Household cleaning chemicals account for a variety of allergies from contact, inhalation, or even ingestion. Such allergic reactions can be caused by any type of household cleaner, including sprays, powders, liquids, or gels. Symptoms of chemical allergies include red or itchy skin, burning or blistering, swelling (especially of the eyes or face), and dry, cracked skin. In many cases, simply knowing what ingredients – active or “passive” – are in the product can help identify potential allergens.
These guidelines can help prevent allergic reactions to household chemicals:
- 1 Minimize chemical allergies by using natural cleaners like plain white vinegar and water.
- 2 Chemicals triggering allergies include ammonia, formaldehyde, D-limonene, sodium hypochlorite, and sodium lauryl sulphate.
- 3 When working with cleaning chemicals, wear protective gear (mask, goggles, gloves, etc.) to prevent contact.
- 4 Over-the-counter medications such as calamine lotion, antihistamines, or cortisone ointments can help in some cases.
- 5 For severe allergic reactions to chemicals, or in the case of ingestion, contact a poison control center and seek emergency care.
- Protective gear is available for when using chemical cleaners.
- Know which chemical ingredients can cause allergic reactions.
- Keep over-the-counter medicines to treat mild allergy symptoms.
- Post the poison control phone number (1-800-222-1222) in a prominent place.