If you’re like most people, you think of your home as a sanctuary from the dangers of the outside world. Unfortunately, there are hidden health hazards that may be lurking in your home that you’ll need to know about to keep your family safe.
Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to humans, especially for children whose bodies and brains absorb more of the substance. Exposure to lead can lead to issues such as anemia, hearing loss, learning problems, slowed growth, and even behavior and attention difficulties. Although naturally occurring, lead was also added to all sorts of products for decades, including paint. If your home was built before 1978, there’s a good chance that you have lead paint on the walls so you’ll need to take extra care during home improvement projects. Always cover or clear away peeling paint, especially in areas that children can chew on like windowsills.
Because of its resistance to fire, water, heat, and sound, the mineral was once considered a wonder substance that was added to many products and building materials. However, it is also harmful to humans and is linked to mesothelioma cancer, according to asbestos.net. Any home built before the 1980s is likely to contain asbestos in places like pipes, insulation, cement, floor tiles, and siding shingles. The good news is that as long as the feature is in good condition, asbestos fibers won’t pose a threat to your family. However, any large renovation or repair that includes removing asbestos-containing products requires abatement professionals equipped to safely handle it.
A naturally-occurring radioactive gas, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless and is only found through special testing. Although it is harmful, radon is also easily abated with methods that seal the home from soil gases or vent the home from below ground. Many newer homes are built with radon minimizing materials, but older homes can also be tested and modified if necessary.
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow anywhere there is moisture. Many times, mold grows undetected because of damage from leaky water pipes inside the walls or lifting roof shingles. Exposure to mold can cause mild symptoms like eye irritation, itchy throat, or mild cough, but it could also serious lung infections or worsened asthma. Experts say if you can see or smell mold, your health is in danger, so make sure to address mold as soon as it’s discovered.
Home should be a safe haven, and knowing what dangers to look out for will keep your family happy and healthy for years to come.