6 Hidden Home Hazards During Pregnancy

Is it safe to use cleaning products?

There are some household cleansers that pregnant women should avoid. Check the labels and avoid products that say they're toxic, since they may contain risky solvents. For example, oven cleaners and window cleaners often contain glycol ethers, which have been known to increase a woman's risk of miscarriage, and most mildew removers contain phenols, which may increase risk of birth defects or fetal death. (To find out more about what's in home and cleaning products, go to householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov.) Plus, most cleansers contain strong-smelling chemicals like ammonia or chlorine, which won't hurt your baby but may make you queasy.

A good guideline: Keep your windows open while cleaning and wear gloves, or opt for a natural cleanser, which can do the job without triggering pregnancy-related nausea. Simple baking soda can work wonders on bathtubs and ovens, while a vinegar-and-water solution effectively cleans glass and countertops.

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