• The distinctive smell of moth balls often reminds people of a grandparent's closet. Moth balls were created to prevent moths from feeding on clothing made of wool. However, moth balls are made of para-dichlorobenzene and/or napththalene, two extremely dangerous and toxic chemicals.

    Improper Use

    One of the dangers of moth balls is that so many people do not follow the directions as to their proper use. Moth balls are to be placed in an air-tight container along with the clothing they are to protect. However, it is common practice for people to spread them openly in their attic to get rid of birds, or outside along the ground in an attempt to keep away insects and other animal pests.

    Looks Like Candy

    Regarding children, moth balls are very dangerous because they smell sweet and look like an attractive piece of candy. Swallowing moth balls can be fatal.

    Toxic Fumes

    The vapor given off by moth balls can cause headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, lack of appetite, skin irritation, respiratory problems and fatigue. Exposure to large doses can cause cancer; a dissolution of red blood cells;and problems with kidneys, liver and lungs.

    Water-Supply Contamination

    There is a danger with moth balls placed outside, such as in a garden or around the perimeter of a house: These toxic chemicals can leach into the ground and poison drinking water and water absorbed by vegetables grown in a garden.

    Unawareness of Their Toxicity

    Many people are unaware of just how dangerous exposure to moth balls is to the human body, especially to children; they don't give much thought to casually throwing them in a basement, around a garden or in an attic. Dangerous exposure can come through the skin by touching the balls or through inhalation of moth ball vapors.


    The dangers of moth ball poisoning

    Alternatives to using moth balls

    More Information:

    Dangers of indoor air pollution

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