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Old 10-15-2005, 07:39 AM   #1
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Red face Mothballs and Food

Hey Guys, Ive got a question about Mothballs.

My grandmother lives in a small apartment, smokes and uses tons of mothballs (and TONS of evaporated liquid air freshener)! She places them all around her kitchen, in cabinets, cupboards and on top of her refrigerator where crackers, cookies and cereals are kept. She doesnt tie up bags of crackers or cereal she just rolls the bags down and closes the boxes. Somehow, the scent and taste of mothballs and air freshener penetrates EVERYTHING - and contaminates all of her food stuffs. Bring in brand new groceries and within 1 - 2 days they are transformed into edible mothball/air fresheners. She likes cooking and giving away treats, I take them and try to eat as much as I can before I get sick of the taste. Are there any risks with eating foods that have been heavily impregnated with mothball? I have noticed that I get a mild soar throat after consuming things that taste like mothball from her house. She's old fashioned and cant be told what to do by her kids and grandkids.

 
Old 10-15-2005, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: Mothballs and Food

mothballs contain naphthalene, which can be poisonous if inhaled. Mothballs are really only intended for storage of winter clothes, that have to be immediately washed upon taking out of storage, they should not be around edible foods, or inhaled. Do your best to rid the whole apartment of them asap, they tend to flake, so you must vacuum everything and discard the bag directly afterwards. The liquid air freshener , Im not sure about.

 
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Old 10-15-2005, 06:18 PM   #3
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Re: Mothballs and Food

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbyroad
mothballs contain naphthalene, which can be poisonous if inhaled. Mothballs are really only intended for storage of winter clothes, that have to be immediately washed upon taking out of storage, they should not be around edible foods, or inhaled. Do your best to rid the whole apartment of them asap, they tend to flake, so you must vacuum everything and discard the bag directly afterwards. The liquid air freshener , Im not sure about.
ok so obviously, eating food that has absorbed mothball vapors isnt very good for consumption anymore is it? For sensitive people like me, I wouldnt think so. Ive read about the toxicity of mothballs - exposure to high concentrations of the vapor can cause some pretty uncomfortable side affects. She rarely opens her windows, so she and all of her visitors inhale the stuff and eat her food (some people dont want to, like me). Ive got to convince her to cut back on those mothballs.

 
Old 10-15-2005, 09:52 PM   #4
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wandervogel HB User
Re: Mothballs and Food

How about making a little gift basket for her of cedar chips and cedar blocks. They are used to repel moths and are all natural. The fragrance is inviting. I’ve seen them in health food stores, fabric stores and even hardware stores. I use them in my sewing room to protect all my fabric.

You can also type the word “naphthalene” into a search engine. It should give you a list of chemical companies that manufacture products containing that chemical, including mothballs. From those company’s websites you can ******** what’s called an MSDS, “Material Safety Data Sheet. This sheet is required by law for anything chemical and some biologicals that are considered dangerous. Some of what you will read will sound like gibberish, but the section explaining the dangers from inhaling, swallowing or eye contact with the chemical are spelled out in plain English and easy to us regular folk understand.

You can show her this MSDS sheet to help your argument along. She might be stubborn, but I’ll bet she doesn’t really want to cause danger to anyone she feeds.

 
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