As much as we want to keep a safe, clean and environmentally-friendly home, we can easily overlook harmful chemicals lurking about in the one place where we’re meant to be least on guard. Fortunately, there are ways we can test our own homes for common toxins. These methods are also recommended to be done before deciding to acquire any prospective new home.
This chemical used to be a popular ingredient in paint until 1978. If your home was built before then, watch out for chipping paint which could result in lead poisoning. It complicates into high blood pressure, poor memory and other health issues. Women and children are known to be the most prone. Home kits are available for lead testing but for accurate results, hire a certified technician to check your home. There are state health departments that authorize technicians for lead testing and keep a list of their names and locations. If your state doesn’t offer government regulation, ensure your preferred expert underwent EPA-approved training.
You might be surprised to know this toxin might be hiding in your refrigerator. Sadly, it’s found in food and one of America’s favorite fish, the tuna. This toxic metal can affect the brains of fetuses, resulting in birth defects and learning problems in children. Mercury levels differ on the species. Fish are also known to carry other toxins so eating them is advised to be kept at moderation. Women should avoid eating tuna during pregnancy to prevent any unwanted effects on the unborn child. Mercury can also be found in the fat of other animals. Opt for lean cuts of meat. It’s a healthier option for more than avoiding the accumulation of unwanted fat.
One good thing about fungus is they can easily be spotted with the naked eye. It’s often found in bathrooms, sinks and other areas where building materials meet moisture. Look out for damp scents and growth in the colors of green, white, and black. They can also be found in unexpected places where there are leaks such as ceilings and indoor walls. Varying types of molds differ in toxicity. You can remove it yourself by simply wiping it off. You can also opt to scrub it with bleach but be careful of the product you use as it may also contain harmful chemicals. If, however, the mold looks slimy or has already extensively grown, avoid removing it yourself and seek the aid of a professional.
While cleaning products are meant to get rid of dust and compounds harmful to our health, some are made from dangerous toxins. They may not result in any immediate adverse effects but with long-term use, we may see illnesses manifest overtime. Check the label on your favorite brands from glass cleaners to even air-fresheners. The best way to avoid these toxins is to keep from using products containing them.
More people, as well as organizations, are advocating for non-toxic homes. One method is by using microfiber cleaning cloth for dusting and microfiber towels for wet surfaces. Microfiber is designed to pick up stains and dust on their own without the use of chemical agents. They’re also easy to clean with usually a simple rinse for optimally toxin-free cleaning.
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