Casual Shopping Risks – Dangerous Materials

Casual Shopping Risks – Dangerous Materials

Shopping for things that are little rare and out of the ordinary will often send resourceful consumers into a variety of different sales environments. Places like pawnshops, garage sales, and antique stores often produce amazing finds that simply can’t be matched through any other form of shopping. People who go looking for these unique opportunities rarely stop to think about the potential risks posed by the items they buy, though.

Although it seems obvious now, for a long time manufacturers and governments were unaware of how different materials and ingredients in products could affect the human body. Consumer goods produced before the 1970s have a dramatically increased chance of containing hazardous ingredients when compared to modern products. That means that shopping for rare, old items that have been passed from owner to owner may expose you to certain risks you won’t find in a corporate big box store. Two of the most important ingredients to watch out for are lead and asbestos. Learn more by reading on.


Asbestos is a mineral that has significant fire-resistant properties. Prior to the latter half of the 20th century, asbestos was used in a variety of products to provide insulation and fire protection. The problem is that asbestos is an extremely dangerous carcinogen. When inhaled, asbestos particles irritate the lining of the lungs and cause mesothelioma, a form of cancer that’s extremely difficult to treat.

Asbestos was used in a wide variety of products to insulate against heat and also to provide additional strength. You should exercise caution when handling unknown products if you suspect that asbestos was used in their manufacture. Research your purchases carefully to determine whether or not they contain asbestos.

If you do suspect an asbestos containing product is present, make sure you call a company that is certified to conduct asbestos removals perth so that the toxic substance can be removed in a safe manner.


Lead became a common ingredient in a variety of consumer goods starting in the 1920s. The two most frequently-used applications for lead were as additives to gasoline and paint. When it’s mixed into other substances it’s fairly innocous, but when ingested lead can cause significant health problems. Lead can be inhaled if it’s converted into airborne particles, and children may ingest it by tasting or chewing products that contain lead. The risks posed by lead paint make it important to wear respirators when removing paint from old houses.

Inside the human body, lead is carried in the bloodstream just like oxygen or nutrients. It’s delivered to the cells of the organs. Instead of nurturing and feeding them, though, it causes debilitating damage over time. Lead is particularly prone to settling in the skeletal system, i.e. the bones and teeth.

In relatively small levels of exposure, lead in the body can cause hypertension. With higher levels, lead causes anemia due to the way it crowds less-damaging materials out of the bloodstream. When it reaches the organs, it can cause significant damage to the kidneys and intestines. Muscles and the nervous system can also be hurt by exposure to lead. According to some information, lead can also cause memory loss, but this link has not been conclusively proven.

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