It seems nearly every week we find out something that was regular practice in the not-so-distant past was horribly dangerous. Whether this was the lack or poor excuse for car seats (if you even buckled at all) or using poisonous substances in makeup, household items, or worse ingesting them.
One thing that comes to mind is the vintage advertisements for weight loss pills targeted at women. Everyone wants something that will make them skinny by magic right? Wrong. These pills actually contained tapeworm. So these women were giving themselves a parasite with medical approval just to lose weight...pairs well with the cigarette ads of the time.
Curious of others experiences Redditor pinkyfirefly asked:
“What is something that used to be considered safe/okay but now we know is harmful?"
Oh yeah greeeeat idea!
“Lead and Asbestos- what great products!!! Let's put them in / on everything!!” 24KaratMinshew
It caused the Victoria Hall disaster...
“Single entry/exit points on large buildings. IIRC the creator of push bar doors was a survivor of a child stampede that killed over a hundred kids.” ThrowThisTeaAway
The use of Radium...
“Back during, like, the
40's and 50's (IIRC) 20's, the U.S. military and other institutions were producing watches with glow-in-the-dark dials painted on. The paint in question contained radium, which is radioactive enough that it can be harmful to humans.”
“Now, at this point in time, radiation and its adverse effects on humans wasn't very well or very publicly understood, so there were basically no safety regulations involved with handling the radium-based paint. There also wasn't really any sort of automation in the watch-painting field, so these watches - thousands upon thousands upon thousands of them - were being painted hand-painted by a majority-female workforce...”
“These women were being closely exposed to high volumes of radium for hours on end almost every day for months and years. Some of them - liking the glow-in-the-dark effect - even reportedly used the paint as lipstick or other forms of makeup so they could go home and show off to their husbands.”
“Unsurprisingly, the eventual results were nothing short of gruesome - cancer diagnoses being the least severe consequences in many cases - and the case of the radium girls is part of how the public at large learned about the dangers of radioactive materials.” PaniqueAttaque
It's become a sad epidemic...
“heroin. it was originally sold as a cough medicine by bayer.” WhenTardigradesfly
“Bayer called it "heroisch", meaning heroic in German, because it was believed to have the same properties as morphine without the addictive side effects” psycedelich
An accident waiting to happen...
“Solid metal dashbaords in vehicles without seatbelts. A friend of mine in the Army had a vintage car from the 1950s before seat belts were mandatory equipment. He was a reckless driver who liked to speed and weave in and out of traffic on the interstate. I only rode with him once.” wzl46
“Radiation. There used to be devices to measure children's feet. Basically, the children would put their shoes on, stick their feet into this machine, and it would blast their feet with radiation so that nervous parents could see the children's feet inside the shoes to be sure they fit. Congrats, the shoes fit, but now your child has a ton of other health concerns!” TechyDad
“Cigarettes are full of feel good compound and grade A vitamins! 50 yrs later: ..uh, just kidding?” livesquaredsuperman smoking GIFGiphy
Baby formula even?
“Melamine. Up until 2008, multiple Chinese baby powdered formula manufacturers secretly added melamine to their products. Melamine has high nitrogen content and mimicked the effect of high protein content in tests.”
“Babies who consumed the products were diagnosed with kidney stones. As it turns out, melamine damages one's urinary system in many ways. I could not stop wetting my bed until I was 10 years old.”
“The scandal caused a huge distrust in the Chinese food industry that persists today. It also caused the phenomenon where mainland Chinese tourists bulk purchase baby powder for friend and relatives when travelling abroad.“ GtYuhanZhang
Babies should be on their backs, with no blankets or soft toys in the crib for safety...
“So much stuff with babies. Not just the obvious car seats, but all sorts of sleeping stuff. Most of Reddit probably slept in a crib with a loose blanket, crib bumpers, and stuffed toys. You might even have been put on your stomach, or had a pillow. None of that is considered safe anymore.”
“Babies are supposed to be on a flat surface, swaddled only under a certain very young age, with basically nothing anywhere near them. The CPSC just banned a bunch of things in common use, in fact, including ‘baby boxes’ similar to the ones given out in Finland.” Grave_Girl
“Standing up in the front seat of your grandfather's '58 thunderbird as a 6 year old and saying ‘Pawpaw, I bet you can't go 100.’ And him saying ‘Hang on buddy.’ Then going for a snow cone.” IC--XC--NI--KA
These responses show just how far we've come in understanding safety. It also gives us good reason to always question new things that come out that are “too good to be true" because they probably are.
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Every once in awhile we tune into the local news--or more likely Facebook, nowadays--and hear about some shocking surprise tragedy that struck some person in our town.
When we come across the story, we consider just how terrible that poor person's luck was. The accident that led to death or injury often seems one in a million, and we rest easy knowing, statistically, that won't happen to us.
But some of those "flukes," despite seeming totally bizarre, happen enough that we ought to give them a little more of our attention.
Add up enough freak accidents and you've got yourself a pattern.
Redditor Scrabt asked was apparently keyed in. They asked about the quietly dangerous things that hurt or kill more people than we realize:
"What's something people don't know just how dangerous it actually is?"
Of course, plenty of tragic medical occurrences made it on the list. These seem like anti-climactic ways to die or suffer, but they are avoidable if we take a second to acknowledge them.
"Not getting enough sleep." -- TheBassMeister
"As a firefighter who works 48 hour shifts at a busy station I really wish we would figure this out. It absolutely destroys guys." -- PhluckFace
"Even losing 1 hour of sleep (getting 7 instead of 8) can increase your risk of heart attack by 25%." -- CollegeSuperSenior
Mental Becomes Physical
"Eating disorders. People know they are bad and are a serious mental health issue, but not to the extent that it is. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Over 1/4 attempt suicide, and only 30-40% of anorexics ever recover fully."
A Very Bad Mixture
"I saw this posted on a similar thread a few weeks ago and feel it's worth mentioning again - grapefruit and grapefruit juice. It can seriously mess up medications you may need to take. There is a page on the FDA website specifically warning about the dangers of ingesting medication and having grapefruit or grapefruit juice."
Don't Forget About This Virus
"The flu. It's one of the top 10 causes of death yearly in the US, combined with pneumonia (which they do because influenza deaths are often listed as pneumonia for cause of death). Flu deaths tend to exceed both suicide and homicide numbers along with car-related deaths."
"While many of these are people above 65, the flu is still dangerous to younger people, and there are a lot of bad things it does that fall short of killing people."
Others placed their attention on forces of nature. Us arrogant human beings tend to avoid being honest about just how vulnerable we are to the whims of our planet.
"I'd say mushrooms, mostly because quite a lot of people annually die and a lot more get poisoned because they pick them according to some old wives tales, like if it's eaten by an animal or if it easily peels off it is for some reason or another safe for human consumption."
Far Bigger, Heavier, and Stronger
"The ocean. People have no clue how powerful it is."
"I live at the beach and every summer multiple people die going in the ocean after hours. After hours meaning no lifeguards on duty."
Thinking Long Term
"The SUN" -- newone1104
"Yes! My bf works outside and it pisses me off that he is very careless about using sunscreen! I'm like in 15 yrs your going to look like your 100 and die a horrible death of skin cancer." -- Skinnysusan
Finally, some discussed the man vs. machine area of freak accidents. Our engineering minds have come up with some efficient, powerful tools.
But that power can come back to bite us.
Chomp, Chomp, Chomp
"Escalators, the top of the Escalators houses the motor that is basically a human shredder, the only thing seperating you from death is a jankly placed piece is sheet metal"
"Firing a 'warning shot' with guns."
"The bullet doesn't just continue into space. What goes up...."
"You are responsible for everything that leaves the barrel of your firearm and what it ends up hitting. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't work here."
"Garage door springs. They'll kill you."
"Seriously, let a professional handle that sort of thing." -- BriSnyScienceGuy
"Even professionals are scared to death of them." -- Kool_McKool
"They are under such immense pressure that when they break, it sounds like a very loud gunshot or explosion. My neighbor's door spring broke and it woke up half the block." -- Au_Uncirculated
Just when you needed yet one more reason to have your head on a swivel whenever you partake in human life at all.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Our interactions with strangers can be pleasant – whether it's a fellow customer at a store smiling at us or talking sports or other mutual interests with a friendly bartender.
But then there are those who you just can't figure out but engage in a conversation with anyway until something in your gut tells you to abort.
Whether it's an ominous situation or a mysterious individual, your instincts telling you something is not right is usually accurate and what happens next depends on whether or not you act on what your inner voice tells you.
"What is Your Best 'I'm in Danger' Story?
These predicaments could have resulted in severe consequences. Or not.
"Driving through jasper on our way to leduc when my dad saw a family on the side of the road looking off into the bush off the side of the road. So we pull over and walk over to ask if they need any help. They say that they saw a bear in there and were throwing rocks at it to get it to come out so they could take pictures. My dad told us to get back to the car and we sped off down the highway. To this day i wonder what happened to those idiots."
"Not me, but a really close friend was going through flight school and they were going through emergency procedures and the instructor asked something along the lines of."
"What would you do if you noticed the power was lost?"
"And at that very moment, the aircraft lost power and my buddy said 'Well that's a neat trick and makes it feel real.' To which the instructor said 'No, that's not me. This is real.' Apparently, my buddy giggled and said 'oh no.'"
"And then they had to crash into the gulf and he swam away."
"I can't think of a better example than that."
The Thing In The Bushes
"When I was about 5-6, my mom and her best friend took us kids out huckleberry picking. We brought a battery power radio so we were making noise and would not startle any wildlife. We were all kind of spread out around these wild berry bushes. The adults heard this snorting, stomping, and sounds of a large animal moving through the dense overgrown areas coming towards us. They freaked out, screaming for us kids to run to them so we could run to the truck together. Moms friend threw her FULL bucket of huckleberries (5 gallon bucket, took all day to fill) at whatever was coming, hoping to distract it..."
"It was a cow."
You never know what strangers are capable of, especially where drugs are involved.
Sacrifice For The Devil
"I used to work in a group home. I was working a night shift and one of the residents was pacing by his room. I asked him what he was doing, he went into his room quickly. I assumed he was on meth since that's what he liked doing. Thought not much of it until a few hours goes by. I go to get some water and heat up my food, and he is standing in the hallway. Again, I ask him how he's doing and try to check in with him. This guy starts speaking in some made-up language in a loud whisper (think Harry Potter talking to the basalisk). He then takes like 4 steps slowly toward me then stops. He says 'I can't stop him forever.'"
"I call police for his and the the safety of the house."
"Police show up and talk to him for a bit in private. One officer comes back to my office and says 'yeeeah, he's not himself right now. Said the date was May 50, 2100.' It was January... and 2015. They took him away. They also found and took a pocket knife off of him and gave it to me for safekeeping."
"Now if that wasn't already messed up, I went back on the security footage and I saw him stand outside of my office door (outside my view) for like 30 minutes without me realizing. Standing still, like in paranormal activity."
"I checked the camera from when he was speaking the weird language, and he was standing there for like 20 minutes heavy breathing before I walked by."
"2 weeks goes by and he's released from the hospital sober and mentally present again. He decided to move out of the house. He came by to grab his stuff, and pulled me aside to apologize. I forgave him and tried to brush it off. Buddy looks me in the eyes and said that he was planning on killing me that night for a blood sacrafice since he was seeing some crazy stuff and he believed a demon was controlling him, but the police ruined his plan."
"I kept the knife as a morbid souvenir."
The following people these Redditors engaged with were very suspect. No drugs were apparently involved, but they were apparently quite mental.
Former Flat Earthers Explain What Finally Made Them Come Around | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"So, just for context, I'm Scottish. I was on Holiday in Durham and it was late afternoon. We just arrived and we were going to visit the Cathedral."
"So these lads (likely students, they were obviously on a night out or something) came up to me and were like 'hey do you know how to get to so-and-so street' and I was like 'sorry, I'm not from here.' Suddenly the guy got mad and was all 'are you Irish, ARE YOU IRISH?!' And I was like 'No I'm Scottish' (but I was sure I was going to get beaten up because, let's be honest, if he's like this to someone who's Irish then he'll not exactly be hunky Dory with Scots), but when I said that his demenor did a 180 and he was all 'oh right, you're cool, sorry to bother you' and walked off."
"And that's the story of when I was nearly hatecrimed because someone thought I was Irish."
"Went out for a drink with a pretty girl I got talking to on a bus. She was a bit awkward, but seemed kinda fun. She kept talking about her roommate, and the crazy hi-jinks they got up to. She even joked that we would have a threesome if I went back to her place."
"We went back to hers... at which point I found out that her roommate was a barbie doll that she talked to like it was a real person. Her place clearly hadn't been cleaned for years, and the toilet was full of green 'matter.'"
"The final straw for me was when I stepped on her cat's corpse..."
Not The Basement
"Couple of years ago I was picking up a chair I had bought from craigslist. I drove to this guys house and got a creepy vibe instantly when I stepped inside, for reasons I can't really understand to this day. After a minute or so of small talk, where he was mostly busy staring at me and not completely focused on the conversation, he asked me to follow him down to the basement where the chair supposedly was. As he went for the staircase he raised the volume of the music playing to a level that was distinctly louder than normal."
"I noped the f'k out and went straight home again."
In middle school, I was not a popular kid. So it surprised me when my fellow classmates who were viewed as "popular" actually engaged in a conversation with me during lunch when I was sitting by myself.
They asked me what my favorite food was and what TV shows I watched. I genuinely thought they were interested in me, but I was also skeptical about their forced friendliness.
My suspicions were confirmed when, in my peripheral vision, I saw their buddies dragging a trashcan over towards me.
I blurted, "gotta go!" and I darted. Those jerks were going to throw me in the garbage!
Chocolate milk hair and spaghetti sauce-drenched shirt was avoided that day, thanks to my gut instincts. Damn bullies.
Listening to your gut can save your life. There is a reason why we have inner voices warning us about something that just does not feel right.
Sometimes, that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach alerting you of a suspicious situation can occur when you are alone or in some vulnerable state.
Whatever the case may be, it may be in your interest not to ignore your naturally built-in life alert.
Strangers on the internet shared their most vulnerable moments and fled the scene when Redditor firefly_girl_75 asked:
Nothing will make you hit a "panic" button more than when you feel trapped in a situation. Hopefully, you have the wherewithal to haul a**.
The Escape Route
"Living in Baltimore some years back and I was driving home through a rough area of the city. Sitting at a stop light behind an already stopped car, another pulls up next to me on the right. Not really thinking anything of this, the light turns green. Neither of these cars move and I see a car zipping up behind me. I look to my left and I see two guys running towards me. I am so thankful that I left a good deal of space between me and the car in front. I hooked it around the car I front and sped off. Pretty sure I was going to be a victim of a car jacking or maybe something worse. Glad they ill timed their plan and I gave myself that space. Lesson here is always keep your head on a swivel in Baltimore."
"I was on a restaurant and they were using a propane tank to power an outdoors heater. Suddenly the tank started to catch fire and I got out quickly because i thought it was going to explode."
"The staff turned the tank off and everyone laughed at me for overreacting but damn i got scared lol."
"I was in downtown NYC a couple of blocks away from the WTC gawking at a fire. There were tons of people milling around watching. They had blocked off some streets, and I asked a cop how I could get around to where I needed to go further downtown. He told me which streets were closed, but that they might expand it, so I should get moving. The conversation was pretty casual."
"As I started walking away I looked back, and he had his radio to his ear, and whatever he heard, he panicked, went as white as a ghost, and started yelling for people to move further back. I turned around and jogged the hell out of there and made it to the Brooklyn Bridge before the first tower came down."
You never know people's intentions, but usually, your gut has the correct instincts.
"My friend and I met at Waffle House for lunch. A guy came into the restaurant looking for a piece of paper that he had accidentally left on a table. The waitress didn't know where the paper was located and might have thrown it away. The guy got upset saying the paper was important and he was going home to get his gun stored under his mattress. My friend and I quickly paid our check and got the heck out of the restaurant!"
"I lived in south Everett WA for a couple years. Was walking home from the bus stop to my apartment, which took me behind the home depot. Suddenly a van starts following me, I hear the side door slide open and look behind me to see a man with the top half of his body hanging out the slider door looking at me. I took off running towards my apartment, literally running as far as I could, the van started going faster. By chance a guy was pulling out of the driveway of my apartment complex, sees me running for my life, and stops. The van immediately turns around and speeds off. Guy asks if I'm okay. I ask him to just stay there and please watch me walk into my apartment, which was the building next to his. He did, thank God. I started carrying mace and a very large knife the next day."
A Very Convenient Store
"A coworker got off the bus at night in Scarborough, Ontario and a guy stepped out from behind the bus shelter and started calling to her to wait up. He ran up to her, she screamed 'I don't know you' and ran into a convenience store. The guy hung around outside for a few minutes, then walked over to a vehicle and got in and drove off. She waited for a neighbour in her apartment complex to come over and walk her home."
"She filed a police report and it turned out she had narrowly escaped Paul Bernardo, then known as the Scarborough Rapist, later known as a serial killer alongside his wife Karla Homolka."
Out Of Our Control
Nature and animals figured into these scenarios alerting of danger.
"I was walking to my house from my ex house very early in the morning when I saw this little girl with a backpack running for her life from two big street dogs. At that moment I didn't think and I ran towards the dogs and missed a kick, the two dogs came after me biting my legs and arm. They were out of control and these were like the longest 5 minutes of my life. I couldn't stop them from biting me, the little girl kept running until I didn't see her anymore. It was just me and the dogs attacking me. I tried to climb a fence to get inside a house but I couldn't when a taxi driver stopped and went out of the car with a short stick and he tried to scare them off giving me a chance to run and without thinking I got inside the car, the guy just ran a couple of times around the car with the dogs behind until he got in and he drove off like really fast. He took me to the hospital where I got a lot of stitches on my legs, arms and hands. That guy is my hero. Every now and then I go to his taxi stop and give them sandwiches or something. We never knew what happened to those dogs."
Not Leaving Kansas
"I was driving north on I-65 in the middle of Indiana. The sky was getting dark, the wind was picking up, it started hailing ... I turned on the radio to hear that a tornado was nearby. I determined it was behind me going from SW to NE and about to cross over the interstate. Other cars were driving slow or pulling over because of the rain and hail...I was hauling a** to get away from there."
"I was solo camping in the woods during a phase where I wanted to be a survival expert. I hiked out, miles from any roads or building, built a shelter and then hiked back the way I came."
"Less than a mile away from my camp, I found a dead coyote, decapitated, gutted, and laid out like a sacrifice or something. The eyes were gouged out and it was strung across a big, flat rock. A rock which I used as a marker on the way in, so I know it hadn't been there a day before."
"I ran out of there as fast as I could, knife at the ready, probably 10 miles back to my house. I still have no idea who would have done it, but I know I didn't want to run into them in the woods alone."
Of course, no one should be in constant fear and being overly cautious when they are out and about. Otherwise, what's the point?
There is no point in living life always searching for emergency exits.
But when your built-in life alert signals to you that you need to get the hell out of, say, your house, just remember this tidbit:
Never run up the stairs.
Even the strongest of personalities have that one paralyzing fear or phobia that cannot be understood by others.
Many phobias – like the fear of clowns – can be considered irrational.
Although, clowns should be universally feared after "Pennywise" – the Dancing Clown from Stephen King's It became a part of pop culture.
"Down here, we all float." Not with you. Bye-bye.
"That when i fall while ice skating, someone wont see me on the ground and theyll skate over my fingers slicing them like carrots. luckily i dont ice skate much and if i do i hold the wall."
"edit: so ive been getting comments on how this isn't irrational (because it really isnt) and how this has happened to people and im letting you know that the last time i remember skating is when i was 7, and i havent been on the ice since. since i havent skated in almost a decade, why does my brain worry about getting my fingers cut off???"
It's A Snap
"Breaking my neck or spine. Not too realistic but working as a lifeguard one summer I was always on super mega alert while watching the diving well. I can't imagine living the rest of my life being paralyzed."
"I hate looking in mirrors for a prolonged amount of time due to the fear of my reflection not matching. Also, mirrors at night are just freaky."
"Tripping over while walking up granite stairs with sharp edges and end up breaking my shins into multiple segments."
Sharing The Road
"When I drive buy a cyclist I'm always afraid they're gonna fall off right as I'm next to them and roll under my tires."
"Being in a swimming pool alone for fear of sharks/fish. IRRATIONAL"
"Omg I had this fear as a kid too!
"We had a pool which would get partial shade over it during the day, idk why but I'd sometimes freak myself out that a shark was going to suddenly appear in the shaded parts of the pool so I wouldn't swim in it or avoid those parts (even tho they'd move throughout the day) and I'd be happily swimming in the sunny bits."
"I dont feel this way now about swimming in pools but I'm glad I'm not the only one who had/has this irrational fear :)"
They Didn't Do It
"Being accused of some horrible crime and having my whole life destroyed because of it."
Crashing At Your Place
"Every time I hear a plane fly over my house my heart starts pounding because I think it's going to come crashing down."
"I f'kn hate spiderwebs, and spiders too."
"I squeal like a little bitch if I feel a web on me... Ugh."
"Yesterday, was vacuuming and stuck my hand in the gap behind the fridge and hit web, pulled hand out, spider attached... #Screamfest 2020"
Wrong Place And Time
"I'm gonna cross the street and get stuck in a time glitch and when time corrects itself a car will suddenly be right next to me and run me over."
Point That Somewhere Else
"Needles, hypodermic ones specifically."