Warning: reading this may be hazardous to your health

WARNING: Reading this may be hazardous for your health

Have you read any good warning labels lately? I’m being serious! Have you actually read the warnings that come on the items you purchase from the store?

I’m normally the type person that rips the tags and labels off a product as soon as I get it home. I have my fingers ready to peel and tear. I have noticed that many times the labels are stronger than the actual item I purchased. But I’m ready for that too. When my fingers can’t accomplish the task, I just get out my scissors or special glue removing goo to help. Anything to get that label off. I mean, who wants to see a giant red warning label on their lamp?

Well, yesterday I bought a new toaster because my old one finally died and went to toaster heaven. She lived a good life, that she did. She had the best…wheat bread, bagels, poptarts, and occasionally a finger or two. I loved her so.

As I mourned her departure, I drove to the store to find her replacement. I bought the least complicated one they had, and as I pulled it out of the box, this big label was in the way. Instead of just cutting it off and going about my business, I actually read it. Yes, I read the warning label. I didn’t know labels could be so entertaining. The label read:

Do not operate or place the toaster in a heated oven or microwave oven. Due to possible risk of fire, never leave unattended.

That made me giggle. First of all, who puts their toaster in the oven? That defeats the purpose of having a toaster, doesn’t it? Aren’t toasters simply mini ovens already? But the one about leaving unattended…now that one made me laugh. I thought about all those toasters in the world that have to sit on their counters all day with no one to hold them or love them. They are all alone being left unattended as their unsuspecting owners go off to work. Not even a crumb to get them through the day.

I had a good laugh thinking about the reasons those labels are put on things in the first place. Apparently some genius decided to use their toaster in a microwave in order to speed things up, and it exploded. I’m sure there’s a news story out there about it if you dig long enough.

Then I got curious. What do they write on other product labels? Here are some of my favorites:

iPod shuffle:
Do not eat.

Dog medicine:
Use care when operating a car.

Chainsaw:
Do not attempt to stop chain with hands.

Yellow Pages phone book:
Please do not use this directory while operating a moving vehicle.

Liquid-Plumr drain clog remover:
Do not reuse the bottle to store beverages.

Bowl Fresh toilet bowl cleaner:
Safe to use around pets and children, although it is not recommended that either be permitted to drink from toilet.

Little Ones Baby Lotion:
Keep away from children.

Hair coloring:
Do not use as an ice cream topping.

Komatsu floodlight:
This floodlight is capable of illuminating large areas, even in the dark.

Mattress:
Do not attempt to swallow.

Matches:
Contents may catch fire.

Home Depot treated lumber:
Do not consume.

Hair dryer:
Do not use while sleeping.

Road sign:
Caution water on road during rain.

Camera:
This camera will only work when film is inside.

Children’s superman costume:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

500 piece puzzle:
Some assembly required.

Bag of Fritos:
You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

Bar of Dial Soap:
Use like regular soap.

Disposable razor:
Do not use the product during an earthquake.

Bottle of shampoo for dogs:
The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish.

Silly Putty:
Do not use as ear plugs.

Sign at a railroad station:
Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted.

Manual for an SGI computer:
Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers.

6×10 inch inflatable picture frame:
Not to be used as a personal flotation device.

Instructions on the packaging for a muffin at a 7-11:
Remove wrapper, open mouth, insert muffin, eat.

Bottle of bathtub cleaner:
For best results, start with clean bathtub before use.

So today if you are needing a pick-me-up or a laugh, just imagine the reasons those labels actually exist. Or go read some labels for yourself. Smile…and be safe!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  


About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

17 replies
  1. Jennifer TenEyck says:

    I did a report in warning labels before. The one that grossed me out the most was on a curling iron: “For external use only”
    Ouch!!

    Bikes: “may go faster downhill”

    Seriously, it’s sad we need these warning labels!!!

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Very funny.I’m sure they are printed by idiots for idiots We have some strange warnings on some of our products too that are similar to those you selected. It’s just a shame that there was no warning on anything about getting MS. Your diet, your lifestyle, your environment, Your friends and others. None of these were warned about because they didn’t know any different. I keep thinking back at my introduction to MS and nothing prepared me for it’s coming, just like a baby I guess.

  3. Kathy Swartout-Hamilton Doiron says:

    On a blow dryer: “Do not use while sleeping.” “Do not use in bath or shower.” I worry about a world in which these warnings are necessary, and now I’m going to worry about the psychological damage I do to my toater when I leave it unattended all day – sometimes for days at a time!

  4. Hayley Bench says:

    I bought sleeping tablets a couple of days ago, they say “CAUTION: May cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive while taking this medicine”

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