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5 Hidden Household Health Risks

They sit in your home mostly unnoticed, but it doesn’t mean they’re harmless. Uncover the right time for tossing common home safety hazards in the trash.

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When do sneakers cause injury or smoke alarms become dangerous? And just how long have your prescriptions been expired? Follow this quick guide to ridding your home of unnecessary dangers.

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1. Worn-Out Sneakers

Running or walking shoes that easily bend in half at the midsole may increase your risk of injury. Give them the boot. Remember, the average sneaker life span: 300 to 500 miles, or about six months.

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2. Smoke Alarms

After a decade, smoke detectors won’t reliably warn of fire. Change them at once. Also key: Place alarms in and outside every bedroom and on each level of the home, and change batteries yearly.

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3. Medicine Cabinet Contents

Even unopened saline solution and medication can quickly become less potent past their expiration dates. Toss ’em. And high temperatures degrade sunscreen, so replace it once a year.

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4. Old Water-Pitcher Filters

Most pitcher filters will remove contaminants from 40 gallons of water-about three months’ worth of normal use. After that, the filter is useless. Replace it.

Tip: No warning light or timer on your filter? Slow flow indicates it’s maxed out.

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5. Old Pesticides

The chemicals in pesticides more than two years old may not work as well, and worn-out containers are more apt to break, putting you at risk for exposure to toxins.