Every homeowner or renter should be aware of the presence of toxic chemicals when moving to a new home but some toxins are a lot harder to identify than others. Most people will tell you that there is nothing toxic about their home and to the average person they will be right but a closer look will reveal that the average household harbors a number of toxins. Keep reading to learn tips on how to spot what could be considered toxic in your home.
According to Barry Jones author of Home, Sweet Toxic Home, pollutants can be classified as three major categories Airborne, Biological and toxic. The first can be found in the form of small airborne particles from lint, human skin or dust mites. Airborne pollutants can cause serious health problems because they can travel far into the body via the lungs. The best defense against these types of pollutants is to dust regularly preferably using magnetic dust cloths. Keeping a clean filter in air-conditioning units can reduce the amount of dust particles that are inhaled on a regular basis. Cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures can also keep these toxins at bay.
Biological pollutants are common in most homes and come from mold, pet dander and rodents. These types of pollutants enter the body either though airborne particles, skin contact or ingestion from spoiled food. To avoid biological pollutants it would be wise to make sure there are no sources of moisture accumulating in your home to prevent mold buildup. Regularly grooming your pets can greatly reduce the amount of pet dander you inhale. Setting aside a designated area that your pet is not allowed into such as a bedroom will ensure that you are not inhaling animal dander the whole time you are at home. Physical contact with pets that are allowed to go in and out of the house should be followed by disinfecting and changing your clothes to avoid carrying bacteria into other parts of your home.
Rodents can be especially tricky to get rid of but it is recommended that you call a qualified professional to take care of your rodent problem. If you suspect that you have a rodent problem it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible to prevent further infestation. Rodent feces can be toxic once dried and become like dust which is later be inhaled and can cause a Hantavirus infection. This disease can present itself as a dry cough, nausea or shallow breathe and eventually could lead to respiratory failure. Even if your home is free of rodents you may still be at risk of this virus through canned foods or soft drinks that have not been properly cleaned before being shipped to your local retailer. All canned goods should be cleaned with soap and water before consumption.
The third category can be found in household cleaning products that produce long lasting chemicals. Most bathroom cleaning detergents contain chlorine that can become active when in contact with hot water during showers. New carpeting can also pose a threat because some glue used to secure carpet contains carcinogen benzene which can cause cancer. It is best to be familiar with the chemical properties of household cleaning products. The average home can contain a number of these pollutants but if you take the time to learn how to identify these threats you have no need to fear these unknown toxin.