Allergies, asthma attacks, or skin problems a common occurrence in your household? Make sure your home environment isn’t to blame. Some household supplies and items around your home could be easily overlooked health hazards. These items can be a source of toxins, pollutants, and chemicals that trigger a host of health problems including nervous system imbalances and even kidney damage. Whether you have a house full of kids or live alone, make sure your living space is free of compounds and materials that could be hazardous to your health.
Here are five home health hazards you may have overlooked.
No. 1: Antibacterial Soap
A common addition to the lineup of products at the kitchen or bathroom sink, antibacterial soap contains compounds such as triclosan and triclocarbon that may affect your endocrine system. These compounds are carcinogenic and put you at risk for developing some serious health problems down the road. Your safest bet is to use natural soap products. Read the ingredients list to ensure your favorite antibacterial soaps are free of these toxic compounds.
No. 2: Cleaning Products
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a byproduct of many household items including plastics and cleaning products. Sometimes you can smell them and VOC emissions can be hazardous to your health. According to the Sierra Club Green Home website, some side effects of inhaling or exposing yourself to VOCs include memory loss, nausea, throat irritation, and central nervous system damage. Be careful when using abrasive cleaners and other powerful household cleaners to avoid contamination.
No. 3: Rug Mold
You take the time to clean your carpets, but what about the area underneath rugs and mats? The rubber layer under many mats that sit on hardwood floors can attract grime and fungi spores. You need to keep the underside of rugs in the kitchen and bathroom as clean and dry as possible or you’ll start to notice patches of fungus developing underneath. Also make sure you’re regularly removing rugs that sit on top of a carpet so you can clean under them and check for spots of mold. Use a vinegar and alcohol cleaning solution to keep rugs free of dirt and mold.
No. 4: Plastic Containers
Those handy plastic containers you have stocked in the kitchen or lying around the house could be made with toxic materials that end up affecting your health. Check the underside of the containers – numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are all considered safe; anything else could be harmful to your and your family’s health.
No. 5: Dust Mites
No matter how often you dust and vacuum your home, you could be exposed to allergy-causing dust mites on more than one occasion. Make sure you regularly wash bedding in very hot water and take the time to clean windowsills, high shelves, and ceiling fans. Dust mites can circulate in the air for days and days after a cleaning session. Make sure your air vents are clean and clear of dust and debris, and consider investing in a standing fan with an ozone filter to keep the air clean.