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In reality, everything is a “chemical”, from water to salt to the food that we eat.  But you might also have heard people talking about chemicals as things that are dangerous.  This is because some of the chemicals that people make for different uses can also be dangerous when used in the wrong ways.  Some natural chemicals are also dangerous, like a snake’s venom or the gases that come out of volcanoes, but for now, let’s look at the chemicals found in your house and school that could be harmful to your health.

Cleaning products are used on a daily or weekly basis.  Some of these products are designed to break up stains and dirt, or to kill unwanted bacteria.  They often do this by using strong acids and basis, which are chemicals that can react strongly with other chemicals, but they can also cause damage to your skin and other parts of your body.  These products usually have warnings on them telling you to use gloves and goggles when using them.


In the bathroom, you will also find some chemicals like soap, shampoo, mouthwash, toothpaste, and more.  These are usually tested and safe for the uses they are intended for.  However, if you use them incorrectly, such as swallowing your toothpaste, they can be dangerous or make you sick.

Another place where you might find dangerous chemicals is in the garage.  Many of the different fluids that are put into cars, such as oils, antifreeze, brake fluid, etc. can be toxic to humans and you shouldn’t touch them, and definitely never taste them!

The best rule of thumb is this: anytime you find a chemical around your home or school, you should not use it or touch it unless you first find out what it is, what it should be used for, and how to safely use it from an adult who can help you to be safe.

You should never, ever taste, smell, or touch unknown materies!

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