The danger: In 2012, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists found that girls exposed to high levels of dichlorobenzene, a solvent chemical used in some mothballs, were more likely to have their first period an average of seven months earlier than girls barely exposed to the common chemical. Early puberty is a major risk factor for developing breast cancer later in life.
Safer solution: Use a British moth-deterring trick. Many department stores in the United Kingdom have turned to sandalwood and lavender to keep bugs away, instead of using toxic mothball or flake chemicals. Filling a cotton tea bag (available at many health food stores) or an old handkerchief with cloves, tansy, or sweet woodruff could serve as another mothball alternative and keep clothing moths away.