Q:

What are mothballs made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Mothballs are made of naphthalene or para-dichlorobenzene, two pesticides that transform straight from a solid to a gas. Because of its flammable nature, naphthalene is a less common component of modern mothball production. The chemicals in mothballs repel insects and are often used in areas where clothing is stored.

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Full Answer

Fumes from mothballs can be harmful to humans. Clothing that has been sealed in a bag with mothballs should be aired out before wearing. Contact with the eyes or the skin can cause irritation and burning. Long-term exposure to mothball fumes can cause damage to the eyes, breathing difficulty, weakness and fatigue.

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