Our homes should be safe havens, but it’s not always easy to detect dangers in our living spaces. Many issues can damage our health, from mold and asbestos to pests and carbon monoxide. Here are a few of the more common health hazards in the home and strategies for avoiding them.
Health Hazards that May be Present in Your Home
Mold is a Common Health Hazard in the Home
Mold is often due to excess moisture in damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. It can cause allergic reactions, respiratory issues, headaches, and skin issues. To prevent mold growth in your home, keep the humidity levels low and ventilate areas prone to moisture, including the bathrooms and kitchen. Additionally, inspect your home periodically for signs of mold so you can address problems quickly before they worsen.
Asbestos is a hazardous material commonly used in construction before the 1980s due to its strength and fire-resistant properties. It is sometimes present in siding, insulation, and flooring materials. Unfortunately, asbestos fibers can cause serious health issues such as lung cancer and mesothelioma if inhaled. If you suspect asbestos may exist in your home, contact an experienced professional for testing and removal.
Common Health Hazards in the Home: Pests
Pests like cockroaches and rodents aren’t just annoying; they can spread diseases like salmonella and hantavirus through their droppings or bites. To protect your family from pests, practice good sanitation habits like vacuuming regularly; sealing cracks and gaps where pests can enter; using natural deterrents like essential oils; and calling a pest control professional if necessary.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas produced by appliances running on fuel, such as natural gas or wood stoves. If the gas accumulates in your home, it can lead to serious illness. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home (especially near bedrooms) to alert you of dangerous levels of this gas in your home. If the alarm sounds, evacuate the house and call the gas company or 911.
Taking preventative measures against common health hazards will help keep you and your family safe from harm. Sometimes problems require professional help beyond what DIY remedies can provide. If a potential threat arises in your house, it’s best to call an expert specializing in that issue rather than trying to manage it yourself. Awareness of these common hazards will go a long way in protecting your family and giving you peace of mind about the safety of your home.