Mothballs are being used over a large scale at almost every household. Generally, mothballs are used to protect clothing and other items left in the storage. They are also rather effective at removing mold as well as in the fight against silverfish. |
Most people associate them with the odor they emit. The chemical naphthalene was a typical component used in the past, however today, most of these items consist mostly of para-dichlorobenzene. While this chemical also holds a very similar odor, it is found to be much less flammable.
The smell of mothballs is awful enough, that it is often used outside the home as a way to repel various other creatures. In a garden setting, they can serve as an effective repellent against such foe as deer and rabbits. When used in garages and sheds, they serve as useful deterrent for rats and mice. Though, one should be careful where they are placed, as they can have a similar effect on household pets or beneficial creatures residing in the soil.
Mothballs can be extremely toxic if ingested. They have been known to cause serious complications including death. Due to the health risks and side effects pertaining to them, many people choose safer alternatives in order to protect their clothing.
In households that have infants and young children, they should be used very cautiously. Due to the candy-like appearance, they tend to be attractive to toddlers and small children who simply don't know any better. Parents should take care never to leave mothballs in the closet, on the floor, or anywhere else where they might prove easily accessible.
Because of the dangers, it is a good rule to wash any clothing that has been stored with them. This is because of the fact that some people have been known to be sensitive to any contact with them. If you choose not to wash the clothing, they should then be aired out thoroughly in order to rid them of any lingering smell and fumes. Try to avoid wearing clothing items directly after removing them from storage. If these are used as deodorizers, avoid any closed rooms.
While effective, they have proven themselves to be somewhat more of a liability than an asset in many cases and homes. Many new techniques are now available which really do not involve the use of these items. Smell for yourself!
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