5 causes of an unhealthy home environment
We all spend most of our time at our home right? Therefore, it is important to keep our home environment healthy and clean. But most of us do not experience healthy home environment, thanks to our lifestyle. Do you know our home environment can uplift your mood? So it is important to first indentify all the bad things at your home that are spoiling the environment of your home. Here are few causes that lead to an unhealthy home environment.
Take a look here:
1. Smoking and secondhand smoke
Tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke have been directly linked to asthma, respiratory problems, lung cancer and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Tobacco use is also a leading cause of home fires, killing thousands of people every year. Smoking tobacco can intermingle with the air in your home, leading to poor indoor air quality. The particulates in the smoke can settle on walls, furniture and flooring. It can even affect your heating and cooling system and make your home a health hazard. The best solution for a healthier home environment is to ban smoking inside the house. That includes you, your family members, and any guests who come to your home.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 20,000 lung cancer deaths occur in the United States every year due to the effects of radon. In fact, radon is second only to tobacco smoking when it comes to lung cancer. This radioactive gas has no taste, smell or visual trace. It naturally seeps up from certain soils and can get trapped inside your home. The first step is to test your home for radon. If you find that your house has it, you can install a vapor barrier to prevent it from coming up through the ground into your home. You can also install special fan systems to remove it from the crawl space or basement.
3. Lack of Operational smoke alarms
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that over 2800 people died in structural fires in 2013, and an additional 14000 were injured. Many of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented if the structure had working smoke alarms. A smoke alarm is your best and first defense against home fires. You need to have fire alarms installed on every floor of your home. You need one in each bedroom and hallway.
Ideally, they should be hard-wired to your home’s electrical system and have long-life lithium backup batteries installed. Twice a year, test and replace batteries. It is also a good idea to test the alarms every few months to make sure they are in a good working order.
4. Moisture and Mold
Moisture is a common problem in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, laundry rooms and under sinks causes unhealthy home environment. If moisture level gets too high, you may start seeing mold growing. People who are sensitive to mold and mold spores can have reactions like sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rashes. The spores can also trigger asthma attacks.
Mold growth can also affect infants, small children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic lung problems. Prevention is the key with mold. Find and fix all the water leakage at your home. Ventilate areas that accumulate moisture like the bathroom and kitchen. Keep an eye on the crawl space and basement for mold growth. If you find mold, clean it off with a mixture of water and bleach. Installing an air cleaner can also help capture mold spores. All this will help you create a healthier home environment.
5. Pesticide use
Pests are a nuisance and can bring health issues all on their own. However, use or overuse of pesticides within the home is a major cause of unhealthy home environment. The problem is that the poison in pesticides does not discriminate between humans, pets or pests. Pesticide exposure can cause quick problems like acute poisoning, nerve damage, skin irritation, headaches and nausea.
Long-term exposure can cause cancer, low birth weights, premature births and birth defects. Keep your pesticide use inside the home to the absolute minimum. Try to get rid of pests naturally by cutting off water, food and access. Lock pesticides up and keep them strictly away from children and pets.