With all the concern about health and safety today, it is important to address the health of your home. Yes, a home as well as people can be sick. Anything from the air you breathe to molds, mites or even the cleaning products you use to clean can be a contributing factor to a ‘sick home’.
Building science entered the housing industry in the 1960s. Building science is made up of scientists and engineers who are trying to improve the quality and longevity of your home. Further, it has been established that a healthy home is not a privilege, but a right. The advent of this science began with the discovery that lead paint is dangerous for humans and was banned in France, Belgium and Austria in 1909. Of course, Hippocrates isolated this fact in 400 B.C. I guess we humans can be a slow lot.
Next, it was discovered that asbestos is related to cancer. This was not get legally addressed in the United States until 1970 when Congress passed The Clean Air Act, giving the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to regulate asbestos as a hazardous air pollutant.
Consider what experts have to say regarding health and buildings:
The Air in Your Home
The air in your home is not fresh air. Rather, it is a combination of dust, pollen, mold spores, chemicals and moisture. This can lead to bacteria and allergens entering your atmosphere. To combat poor air quality in your home, consider the following suggestions:
Change your air conditioning filter often
Keep your air ducts cleaned regularly
Clean your rugs and floors regularly
Control the humidity
Buy indoor plants.
You Home Environment and Cleaning Products
If you carefully read the product labels of your household cleaning products, you will find that some of them can cause various allergic reactions and other ongoing health issues including:
Eye and throat irritations
Asthma and other chronic respiratory problems
Contact Dermatitis and other skin reactions
Some cleaning supplies also contain what is called VOC (volatile organic compounds) which are regulated by law. VOCs are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects. VOCs are commonly present in cleaning products such as detergents, bleach and air fresheners and deodorants. They are especially present in products that contain fragrances, aerosols or even preservatives.
Though VOCs are regulated per se, labeling regulations in the United States allow product manufactures to provide little information on their labels regarding these harmful ingredients. Thus, VOCs are not always found on the product labels.
The following are guidelines suggested to reduce VOC exposure:
Open windows and doors for ventilation and to reduce exposure
Never mix cleaning products
Follow product instructions for use
Use a less toxic alternatives (i.e. baking soda and vinegar)
Call Missy Donaghy with Interiors for Seniors for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.
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