We want our homes to be safe, providing shelter from the outside world. It should be a place where a family can relax and feel secure. However, many houses contain hidden dangers that threaten our health and safety. Here are five of the most common health hazards in the home and what you can do to fix them.
Health Concerns in the Home: Lead Paint
If your home was built before 1978, there’s a good chance it contains lead paint. Lead paint is dangerous because it can flake and chip, releasing lead dust into the air. Inhaling lead dust can lead to health problems, including brain damage, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues. If you think your home may have lead paint, have it tested by a certified professional. And if the testing comes back positive, hire a lead abatement contractor to remove the paint safely.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber once used in insulation, siding, and other building materials. However, asbestos is a carcinogen; exposure to the fibers can cause lung cancer and other diseases. If you suspect your home contains asbestos, don’t try to remove it yourself. Hire a certified asbestos professional for the job.
Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in damp, dark environments. Mold is dangerous because it releases spores into the air, which cause respiratory problems, headaches, and even memory loss. If you find mold in your home, clean it immediately using a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water.
To help prevent mold growth, immediately repair plumbing and roof leaks and lower the humidity levels in your home.
Health Hazards in the Home: Radon Gas
Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the environment. Radon enters homes through cracks in the foundation and can accumulate to dangerous levels over time. Long-term radon exposure can cause lung cancer.
Because it is colorless and odorless, the only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it. Hire a certified professional to take a reading in your home. If radon levels are high, there are ways to mitigate the problem.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is a by-product of burning fuel, including gas stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, and generators. CO poisoning can cause flu-like symptoms such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. To protect your family, install CO detectors near gas sources in your home, and make sure the detectors are properly maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Homes may contain dangers that pose serious risks to our health and safety. To protect yourself from these hazards, educate yourself about them and take action. Test for lead paint, asbestos fibers, mold spores, and radon, and take steps to remediate the issues found. Taking these precautions ensures that your home is a safe place to spend time with family and friends.