Written By Finnegan Pierson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
For most people, their home is a place of safety and security. However, for some people, conditions in their homes can contribute to poor health. Here are six ways your home might be making you sick.
1. Allergens in the Air Might Be Making You Sick
Allergens in the air can worsen respiratory conditions, such as asthma. Common allergens that occur in the air of homes include dust, dust mites, pests, pet dander and excess moisture and mold. Research has found that over 80 percent of homes in the United States contain dust mite and mouse allergens and over 60 percent contain cockroach allergens, with low-income households being particularly affected.
Additionally, exposure to excess moisture and mold has been found to contribute to more than 20 percent of asthma cases. If anyone in your household suffers from a respiratory condition, it is important to eliminate sources of mold and moisture through mold remediation.
2. Secondhand Smoke Might Be Making You Sick
More than 38,000 deaths from lung cancer and heart disease every year are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Additionally, secondhand smoke exposure contributes to respiratory illnesses.
Most people are exposed in their own homes, but people living in multifamily housing can also be exposed by other residents in the building. If someone in your home smokes, you should encourage that person to quit. If the person continues to smoke, ask that person to smoke outdoors, instead of inside your home.
3. Carbon Monoxide Might Be Making You Sick
Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced whenever fuels, such as oil, gas, wood, kerosene or charcoal are burned. Exposure to this gas causes about 450 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits per year. Acute exposure to carbon monoxide at high levels can cause long-term neurological disabilities, coma, unconsciousness, cardiorespiratory failure and death.
Recurring low-level exposure can result in fatigue, headache and disorientation. Most exposures occur during the winter due to faulty heating systems or the indoor use of gas generators, portable stoves, charcoal grills and space heaters during power outages.
Middle-aged and older adults are the most susceptible. Because the gas is clear and odorless, you may not know it is in your home. A carbon monoxide detector can warn you of dangerous levels of the gas.
4. Water Contamination Might Be Making You Sick
Millions of cases of gastrointestinal illness are caused every year by public drinking water systems in the United States. Water contamination may also contribute to reproductive issues and neurological disorders. Private household wells, which are not regulated by the EPA, can also be sources of contamination from E. coli, Cryptosporidium and norovirus.
Well water may also be contaminated by chemicals such as arsenic and pesticides. Your best defense against water contamination is to review the reports released by your public water system for potential issues with contaminants or if you use a private well, have the well regularly inspected and tested.
5. Lead Might Be Making You Sick
Lead exposure can lead to a permanent impairment of a child's development, such as decreased attention span, lower IQ and increased risk of delinquent behavior. The primary vector for lead exposure in children in the United States is lead paint. Even though the use of lead in paint was banned in 1978, some older homes still contain it.
Children in these homes can be exposed to high levels of lead when the paint is not maintained and begins to chip and peel, or the home is renovated without proper safety procedures in place. Additional sources of exposure include toys, ceramics and lead water pipes. Lead exposure is a particular concern for low-income families. If you live in an older home, consider having it tested for lead.
6. Crowding Might Be Making You Sick
Overcrowding, particularly in multifamily homes, has been associated with poor mental and physical health. This problem can be compounded by poor lighting, excess moisture and mold. If you live in overcrowding housing, it may be best to move.
There are a variety of ways the conditions in your home can affect your health. If you think conditions in your home may be making you or a family member sick, testing your home for these six conditions may be useful.
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Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for Health and technology. Even more interesting is the combination of the two. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so they can have positive life experiences.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.Image by unknownuserpanama from Pixabay