Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mothballs and other chemical hazards in the home

Mothball products have a pungent smell.
Do you know someone that uses mothballs in the home?

Many people understandably dislike having moths around – for fear of losing their wool clothing and because they are insects.

That is why people might reach for mothballs, insecticides in solid form that slowly emit toxic fumes to kill moths and other insects.

Older mothballs consisted primarily of naphthalene, but due to naphthalene's flammability, modern mothballs use 1,4-dichlorobenzene instead.

Both of these ingredients have a strong, pungent odor often associated strongly with mothballs. Both chemicals kill moths and moth larvae with the vapor.

Mothballs are supposed to be used with the clothing in an airtight container, so that the gas does not escape and harm pets or people in the home. When opening the container, it is best to let the clothes air out before using them.

The intended use for mothballs makes it clear that toxic chemicals are being used, yet many people use mothballs out in the open where they can become hazard.

Instead of using chemicals to fight moths, try making your own moth-repelling sachets filled with dried rosemary and mint, dried thyme and ginseng and whole cloves.

Other effective herbs include lavender, lemon, sweet woodruff and tansy.

The same chemicals that can be found in mothballs are also used in other moth products (crystals and cakes) as well as toilet bow deodorizers.

Source: The Day Publishing

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