6 Deadly Pollutants That May Be Lurking In Your Home
John M. Roberts
Whether you own your own home or rent an apartment or house, you should pay attention to what's going on in and around your living quarters because there may be deadly pollutants lurking within close proximity to where you and your family eat, sleep, and spend most of your time.
Every year, untold numbers of people get sick from gases and other pollutants that are in their homes. They are invisible to the naked eye and you may not be able to smell, hear, taste, or feel them. You may not have a clue that they are even there until it's too late.
Below is a list of 6 chemicals, pollutants, and other harmful elements that may be in your home right now. They can make you and your family very ill or worse. If they are in your home, they should be removed or neutralized as soon as possible.
- Lead based paint: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 70 percent of homes built before 1980 contain lead based paint. Lead is highly toxic and may cause health problems that effect the brain, kidneys, nerves, and other organs in the body. It is especially dangerous to babies and young children causing learning and behavioral problems, headaches, seizures, and in some cases, death.
- Mold and mildew:
Simply put, mold and mildew are microscopic organisms (fungi) that are floating in the air all the time. Because you can't see them doesn't mean that they are not present. When you do see them, it's because they have sprouted colonies on bread, rotting materials, or around damp places in your home.
Mold and mildew are toxic to the body and can cause allergic reactions, depression,
- Carbon monoxide: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists carbon monoxide (CO) as an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.
- Radon: Radon is a radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. It is a metallic decay product of uranium that is found in most soils. It moves in an upward motion through the soil into homes, usually through cracks, pipes, gaps in suspended floors, joints and cavities inside walls, and it has been found that it can enter a home with the water supply. It tends to collect on dust particles floating in the air. Studies show that radon increases the possibility of cancer, especially lung cancer when it is inhaled by sticking to the cell membranes that lead into the lungs.
- Asbestos: A group of minerals that occur as bundles of fibers that are resistant to chemicals, extreme heat, and electricity. It has a wide variety of uses in homes that include the strengthening of cement and plastics, insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, hot water pipes, paints, and roofing materials. Asbestos has been found to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases.
In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos although old applications are still used. The EPA also warned that homeowners should not touch or disturb old asbestos, especially if it is chipped, cracked or damaged in any way. To have it removed, a professional asbestos removal company should be consulted.
- Formaldehyde: In a study performed by The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, it was concluded that formaldehyde causes cancer. Formaldehyde has also been found to irritate the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract. It also causes headaches, nausea, burning of the throat, and causes bouts of coughing.
If you can see the things that might jeopardize your health and safety, you can do what it takes to minimize the risks. On the other hand, if you don't know that they are there, they may go undetected for years or may they may never be detected at all, and this is a cause for real concern.