4 Health Hazards Lurking in Your Home
If scary movies have taught us anything about life, it’s that you aren’t safe from danger anywhere— even in your own home. The most frightening thing is that there are dangers lurking in your home that you might not even be aware of. These four health hazards could be afflicting you without your knowledge, so it’s important to become aware of them and take all the preventative measures you can.
Mold is probably a more common problem than most people assume. It is estimated that 70% of all American homes are affected by mold each year. The problem with mold is that it is sneaky and can go unnoticed until it is an overwhelming problem.
Mold is most often found in discreet places like beneath carpet, behind furniture, within walls, or hiding in air ducts. It can inflict stronger symptoms in people with pre-existing asthma or allergies. However, it can also cause healthy people to experience sneezing, coughing, rashes, fatigue, and even memory loss. The most dangerous and toxic kind of mold is commonly referred to as “black mold.” The best way to truly get rid of mold is to call a professional for help.
Pests can seem like more of a nuisance than a health risk, and typically they are. Ants can get into food sources and invade the cracks of your home. However, bigger pests like mice, rats, and cockroaches make their presence known in more obvious and hazardous ways.
Not only are mouse and cockroach dropping disgusting, they can also be poisonous. The skin and droppings that cockroaches leave behind are especially harmful to those who suffer from asthma and other breathing difficulties.
Bed bugs are an additional pest that most people want to avoid thinking about. Just the mention of them can make your skin crawl. While they do not pose major health risks, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction if bitten.
To get rid of pests you will first need to get rid of their food source. However, if that does not work you will need to seek help from a pest control agency or exterminator.
VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. They are a vaporized gas found in various household products. Unfortunately, VOCs are quite hazardous to your health although they are quite common.
VOCs can be found in carpets, strong glue, paint, and even air fresheners. These dangerous chemicals can cause damage to the central nervous system, making them especially dangerous for infants and children. Although it has yet to be proven, many also believe that VOCs increase your risk for cancer.
The best way to get rid of VOCs is to avoid them in your home. Check labels when doing home improvement projects to make sure that your materials are low in VOCs and will not do unnecessary harm.
Radon is essentially a radioactive gas released through unnatural chemicals. One of the most common sources of radon is cigarettes. Therefore, radon is often linked to lung cancer for not only smokers but also those exposed to second-hand smoke.
The Environmental Protection Agency calls January “National Radon Action Month” to bring the dangers of radon to people’s attention. To avoid the harmful effects of radon they encourage people to make sure that the buildings they live and work in have proper ventilation and are not too air tight.