On average, people spend more than 50% of their lives indoors and they definitely expect it to be safe in there. Unfortunately, our homes can hide numerous health hazards which can endanger the lives of our entire family if we don’t take them seriously and deal with them promptly. With this in mind, we’ll now discuss the most common hazards and provide you with useful advice on how to protect your family against them. Let’s take a look and turn our home into a safer place to live in.
1. Lead particles
Lead-based products were widely used in the construction industry before the year 1978 when they were completely banned. The main reason why many companies had started replacing these products with other non-lead-based ones even before this year was due to the discovery that lead particles could be extremely harmful when released into the air. Unfortunately, the majority of buildings built before the total ban in 1978 still contain lead in the wall paint and young children are mostly affected by it since they spend a lot of time on the floor breathing in dust particles falling off of painted window sills. Therefore, if your home was built before the ban ensued, have it checked for lead immediately. Once you are done with the paint inspection and risk assessment, you’ll be advised on what to do next. Just keep in mind not to take any further steps before consulting the experts.
2. Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is probably one of the most dangerous home hazards because it can’t be detected by smell, sight or sound, so you may be exposed to it without even knowing.
Unfortunately, the consequences are much more obvious since a high-level exposure can lead to vomiting, vision problems and even death. This may all seem horrific, but the good thing is that there are steps you can take to prevent any CO-related illnesses. Firstly, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector and make sure to have it checked on a regular basis. Additionally, keeping your entire house in good shape is the easiest way to prevent any breaks which can lead to the CO levels reaching dangerous amounts. Therefore, don’t be lazy and have your HVAC system and all gas appliances checked once a year by a professional.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber which, due to its high-heat tolerance and strength, can be found in numerous building materials including insulation, acoustical materials and floor tiles. While it’s true that asbestos can’t harm you if it’s not released into the air, you shouldn’t ignore it since this can easily happen once you decide to do some remodeling and disturb those asbestos-containing products. It has been discovered that asbestos is linked to some serious diseases, such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is one more reason to take this issue seriously. All things considered, it’s absolutely vital to hire an experienced environmental consultant as soon as possible since only real professionals will know how to remove asbestos safely ensuring that no fibers get released into the air.
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that is released as a consequence of uranium decay and can be found in almost all soil. Unfortunately, this gas has been proven to cause cancer and what’s particularly alarming is the fact that in the USA, radon is present in 1 out of every 15 homes. It usually enters the house through cracks in the foundation, construction joints, gaps around pipes and cavities inside walls. So, if you aren’t 100% sure that your home is radon-free, make sure to get it tested as soon as possible. There are even kits that you can buy and do the testing on your own. Just be careful to follow the instructions closely. However, even if your home is not exposed to this dangerous substance, it’s advisable to take some precautionary measures. For example, you can start by sealing all the cracks in floors and keeping your home properly ventilated.
Mold is definitely the enemy No. 1 of every household. The worst thing about it is that it can spread really fast, especially if humidity levels at your home are above 45%. Consequently, it can cause numerous health issues such as eye irritation, asthma attacks and respiratory problems. In order to fight this hazard successfully, you should invest in a high-quality dehumidifier which will help you keep the humidity below 40%. Furthermore, don’t forget to have your pipes examined for potential leaks and replaced with new ones if necessary. After all, it’s better to invest in your home now than to have your whole family exposed to these toxic substances and then having to pay even more in the end to resolve the issue.
6. Volatile organic compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are harmful chemicals which can be emitted by numerous household products and can lead to many short- and long-term symptoms, including eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, increased risk of cancer and kidney damage. They can often be found in paints, lacquers, cleaning supplies and building materials. Therefore, you should always examine the labels carefully and try to stick to VOC-free products like water-based paints which look equally great, but won’t harm you and your entire family. On top of that, you should try to keep any opened containers of paint outside your house, as well as out of reach of your children.
Last but not least, pests can be a real nuisance and extremely difficult to eradicate. However, aside from being disturbing, they can be dangerous as well since their presence can lead to the spreading of different diseases and the appearance of health problems such as allergy and asthma attacks. For example, mice urine is one of the common causes of asthma attacks and since they have limited bladder control, they leave traces of urine wherever they go. In addition to that, cockroaches are one of the most common pests in our homes which love warm and humid environments and are extremely persistent. Unfortunately, their waste causes the same issues as mice urine, so if you are allergic, they can turn your life into hell. In order to prevent this from happening, you should take action fast and try to keep your home clean all the time. In other words, you need to seal all the holes and cracks, introduce proper food storage, avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink for long, buy appropriate traps and throw away all the leftover crumbs after every meal.
As you can see, we all have to combat different health hazards at our home. However, this is not a reason to be worried. All it takes to solve this problem is your readiness to deal with these issues head-on and the awareness of how important it is to contact professionals instead of doing everything on your own.
Lucas is a real estate agent and renewable energy consultant with many hobbies and passions, but above all, he enjoys the most spending time with his wife – Mara. He also likes Lord of the Rings. He, actually, very much likes Lord of the Rings. He is a regular contributor at smoothdecorator.com .