Lysol cleaning products are popular in American households. Many consumers are unaware of the disadvantages of using these products. One disadvantage of Lysol is the health risks associated with the ingredients used in the products. Phenol is the most disconcerting of these ingredients, especially if you have children and pets. Skin contact with phenol can potentially cause swelling, burning, peeling, hives, convulsions, circulatory collapse and coma.
Health Risks for Humans
Direct contact with Lysol can cause eye irritation, therefore, shield your eyes when using Lysol cleaning products. Measures should also be taken to avoid making any contact with skin, food or clothing. After using Lysol products you should wash your hands immediately with antibacterial soap and warm water to prevent skin irritation. If you get Lysol in your eyes, remove contacts, in applicable situations, and flush your eyes out extensively for at least 15 minutes with water. If the irritation does not subside, seek medical care immediately. If Lysol products are swallowed or consumed internally, call poison control and your doctor immediately. Lysol contains denatured ethanol, which is poisonous to humans. High concentrations of Lysol can also cause lung irritation.
Health Risks for Pets
Felines are particularly sensitive to Lysol cleaning products. The combination of ethanol alcohol and phenol creates a dangerous poison for cats who don't have the ability to safely process these substances in the liver. All cleaning products containing phenols should be avoided entirely in households with cats and birds. Air fresheners can be absorbed through inhalation, the skin and ingestion. When these products are absorbed in the body of a cat or bird, the ensuing central nervous system stimulation leads to seizures, ataxia, impaired respiratory function, vomiting and potential fatality.
Lysol becomes less effective when it comes in contact with organic material. Even when it is at full potency and conditions exist for maximum effectiveness, Lysol does not kill all forms of viruses and bacteria. It is also not as effective when it comes in contact with cationic agents and in alkaline PH.
Associated Damages and Safety Issues
Do not use Lysol products on polished wood furniture, rayon fabrics or acrylic plastics. Keep all food away from the areas where you intend to use or store Lysol products around the home. Never use Lysol around open flames or anything that could produce sparks. Lysol cleaning products are extremely flammable and the product container could potentially explode if it is exposed to heat sources. The contents within the container are under pressure. When disposing of Lysol containers, never puncture or incinerate the container to prevent explosions. If the container is heated, toxic sulfur oxides could be released. Always store Lysol products in cool temperatures, and keep these products inaccessible to children and pets.
- Reckitt Benckiser; Material Safety Data Sheet; February 2006
- "University of Missouri-St. Louis"; Disinfectants for the Classroom; Teresa Thiel; 1999
- Institute of Community Medicine: Disinfectants & Antiseptics
- Cat Health.com: Toxic Household Items
- Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.; Avian Poisoning; Gillian A. Willis
- That Orange Stuff; Household Toxins that You Should Be Aware of; November 1995
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