Photo via Pixabay by GregoryButler
Your home is the single most comforting place in the world, the place you come to after a long day to relax and spend time with your family. Yet for some, the home is also full of hidden dangers. It’s a scary thought, but many buildings can harbor unsafe mold, radon, pesticides, or mites no matter how careful you are to keep things clean and well maintained. That’s why it’s important to know these dangers and their potential warning signs–if there are any–and how to test for them.
One of the issues regarding these dangers is that sometimes, there is no test that can be done; one must simply be aware of how they feel at any given time. For instance, feeling throat or eye irritation, sinus issues, or a rash that goes away when you’re outside the home can mean the problem lies within.
“These symptoms come and go fairly quickly — you may notice them within an hour or two of entering a building but also notice that they will be gone within an hour or two of leaving a building,” says Robert McLellan, MD, director of Exeter Hospital’s Environmental and Occupational Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
There are other types of issues that create no symptoms, such as radon or asbestos exposure, which can lead to cancer or lung disease. For assistance on how to test for radon, call the National Radon Hotline at (800)-SOS-RADON.
Read on to find out more on the ways your home could be making you sick.
Pesticides and chemicals
Common household chemicals and pesticides can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly or in the hands of children. Laundry soap, insect repellant, and kitchen cleaners can all be hazardous, but the good news is that you can use coconut oil in place of many of these common items. If you have a housekeeper or use a cleaning service, make they’re aware of your preferences.
If your home was built before 1978, it’s important to have paint samples tested for lead, and if you have young children, you can have them tested for lead poisoning. Ask their doctor about it, and check out www.epa.gov/lead/leadpbed.htm for more information.
Carbon monoxide can come from many different places, including gas stoves and fireplaces and kerosene heaters, and can cause flu-like symptoms. It’s imperative to install a carbon monoxide detector and keep it well maintained with fresh batteries, just the way you would with a smoke alarm. Always use the exhaust fan when cooking on a gas stove.
Air conditioners, leaky faucets, humidifiers, and even wet bath mats can cause mold in a home, which can lead to a constant runny nose and irritated throat, as well as other cold-like symptoms. Hang wet items up to dry immediately and wash them as soon as possible. Check for leaks around ceilings and floors and pull up any soiled carpet.
It can be overwhelming and scary to think about these things, but it’s important to be proactive for the health and wellbeing of yourself and your family.
Guest Article by Charlotte Meier from HomeSafetyHub.org