The Curious Cases of Poisonings with Common Household Items

In the United States alone, between 2 to 4 million people are poisoned every year, and 90% of these cases occur in the home. That’s because most of us often fail to realize just how dangerous some of the regular items in our homes could become if they were suddenly used incorrectly. Drink too much of something and you could end up in the hospital, or worse. So innocent mistakes could easily cost you your life or your family’s. Why don’t you take a look at the curious cases of poisonings with common household items so you can try to avoid them for you and the ones you love?

1. Water

In case you didn’t know, too much of anything isn’t good. This goes for something as regular as water which, if you drink too much of, could lead to water intoxication. In 2014, a 17-year-old Georgia teen named Zyrees Oliver was pronounced brain-dead due to significant brain swelling. He was diagnosed with water intoxication after drinking 2 gallons or 7.6 liters of water and Gatorade to treat his cramps after a strenuous football practice. Zyrees’ body simply couldn’t handle that much water. He never regained consciousness and had to be taken off life support.

2. Pesticides

In January 2017, tragedy struck a Texas family of ten that resulted in the horrifying loss of four of their children. Their mother, Martha Balderas, was in critical condition while her husband and the other four children were stabilized. It was a sad situation all around and the hospital assumed it was a case of monoxide poisoning. However, when investigators searched the home, they found no traces of carbon monoxide; instead, they found pesticide pellets underneath the mobile home. Apparently, someone tried spraying them with water which caused a terrible chemical reaction that released the toxic phosphine gas

3. Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate on its own is fine, but only if it’s consumed before the expiry date. In early 2005, a woman named Mrs. Rosetta was making some hot chocolate which she sweetened with condensed milk for herself and her grandchild. It wasn’t long till the pair fell ill and landed in the hospital. How could a simple cup of hot chocolate do this? It’s because she forgot to check the expiry date of the hot chocolate powder and condensed milk which were both over 25 years old!

4. A Glass of Weed Killer 

This story is a clear example of not paying attention to labels. While at a dinner party with his family at the home of a prominent and retired dentist named Cinstanine Pitsas, Benjamin and his sister both drank some water from a glass served to them by Pitsas. The children quickly fell ill, and Benjamin himself began to experience adverse reactions. His terrified parents rushed him to the ER, where the doctor took one glance at the jug they brought with them and realized that it was weed killer, not water. Unfortunately, the damage was already done and Benjamin did not survive. 

5. Torch Oil

As mentioned above, many people have a bad habit of not paying attention to labels or their surroundings. In the summer of 2008, six people were rushed to the hospital including an 84-year-old woman did not make it and an eight-year-old girl suffered permanent lung damage. What could have possibly caused this? It was torch oil which they all mistook for apple juice. No one noticed anything was off until after they landed in the hospital. Again, this cannot be stressed enough: always check out the labels of a product before ingesting it.

 

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