17 Harmless Things That Can Be Unexpectedly Dangerous

When you think of the word “danger,” what comes to mind? Perhaps images of fiery explosions, apex predators, or large pointy knives. While some things quite clearly pose a serious threat, others are just as hazardous but appear much more benign. This list reveals 17 things that look harmless but are more dangerous than you think.  

Button Batteries

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Button batteries are small and unassuming, so what possible threat could they pose to human life? Well, their small size actually makes them very easy for small children to pick up and swallow, which could lead to serious internal injury or even death.

Dryer Lint Buildup

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You may not expect that your dryer could ever cause you any harm, but an accumulation of lint in dryer vents can drastically increase the risk of fire. This is because lint is very flammable and can be ignited by the heat produced by the dryer.

Non-Stick Cookware at High Heat

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Non-stick cookware may be useful and convenient, but if they are misused with excessively high heat, they can start to release toxic chemicals. According to Healthline, over time, these chemicals can cause flu-like symptoms, often called “Teflon flu.”

Overcharging Electronic Devices

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Many of us have a habit of leaving our devices constantly plugged in. While this is good for ensuring they’re always charged up and ready to use, prolonged charging can actually increase the risk of overheating. In rare cases, this can even cause batteries to explode or catch fire.

Water Hemlock

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Water hemlock may look like any other harmless, edible plant. But in actuality, according to the U.S. Forest Service, it is widely considered to be the most poisonous plant in the North Temperate Zone. Ingesting this deadly plant can lead to severe symptoms, seizures, and potentially even death.


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Mothballs may be good at keeping moths and other insects at bay, but have you ever wondered how they do this? These seemingly harmless little objects contain toxic chemicals that can lead to health issues such as respiratory problems and headaches over time.


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Magnets are useful, versatile tools that seem innocent enough on the surface. However, if swallowed, high-strength magnets can attract to each other through intestinal walls, potentially causing serious internal damage. This makes them especially dangerous to children, who may swallow them without understanding the danger.

Tipping Furniture

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It’s easy to put furniture into place and forget about it for years. But it’s extremely important to ensure that all furniture is properly secured for safety purposes. Tipping furniture can cause serious damage to pets, children, and other household items. You may want to consider anchoring furniture to walls if you have young children or animals in the house.

Hot Car Interiors

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While it may only feel pleasantly warm outside, car interiors can quickly become extremely hot on sunny days. This is why it’s very important to never leave children or pets unattended in parked cars on hot days, especially without rolling down the window. Doing so can result in heatstroke or even death.

Decorative Contact Lenses

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Decorative contact lenses can be aesthetically pleasing, but they are also underregulated and may not be suitable for your eyes. Lenses that are purchased from non-reputable sources can lead to eye infections, scratches, and even vision loss in rare cases. This is why you should always buy contact lenses from trusted sellers and with a prescription.


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Escalators have made moving between different floors much easier and more accessible. However, this doesn’t mean that we should overlook their risks. Loose clothes, shoes, and small fingers can quite easily get trapped in an escalator’s mechanism and experience serious damage.

Recreational Drones

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Recreational drones can be a great way to get outdoors and have some fun. But they can also pose a serious threat to aircraft if they’re flown too close to airports. Furthermore, there have been instances where they have crashed into people on the ground, sometimes leading to significant injuries.

Household Cleaning Chemicals

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Household cleaning chemicals may be effective and easy to use, but they can also be very hazardous to human health and our environment. Harsh chemicals contained within these products can release harmful fumes such as chlorine gas, and direct skin contact can lead to burns and irritation.

Indoor Tanning Beds

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Many of us may be tempted to use tanning beds regularly to achieve our desired skin tone. However, overusing them can increase the risk of skin damage, premature aging, and even skin cancer. For this reason, it’s recommended to use tanning beds sparingly or opt for safer alternatives.


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Trampolines can be a whole lot of fun, especially for kids. But it’s important to take proper safety precautions to ensure no one gets hurt. Failing to do so can put you at serious risk of injuries, including fractures, sprains, and head injuries. Putting a safety net around your trampoline can help prevent this.

Candles and Incense

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Candles and incense are great for creating a calming, relaxing atmosphere. But you need to be careful to watch them closely and never leave them unattended for long periods of time. Merseyside Fire & Rescue also recommends not placing candles too close together, as this can cause the flame to flare.


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While most jellyfish are harmless enough, some species carry toxic venom that can cause side effects ranging from moderate pain to serious medical issues. If you notice that you’ve been stung, it’s a good idea to determine the species and seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

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