Archive for June, 2010

June 2nd, 2010

11 Hidden Household Dangers

These are very inexpensive to change. It’s unbelievable what is around our homes. I am surprised that any of us have survived all these years. And we wonder why we get so many sicknesses. I wish our homes could be as clean as this waterfall.

“1. Kitchen Sponges
The sad truth is that unless you’re diligent about sanitizing them often, kitchen sponges often carry more germs than toilet seats. According to Kenneth Bock’s The Germ Survival Guide, sponges can harbor more than 100,000 bacteria, including food-borne diseases that you’ve wiped off the counter. You should (very regularly) toss them in the dishwasher, replace them, or zap them in the microwave for two minutes.

2. Dirty Air Ducts
The need to clean air ducts may not be as obvious as the need to clean your bathroom, but it is at least as important. Dirty air ducts contain dust, pollen, bacteria, and even mold, and the contaminated air is recycled and circulated throughout your home, day after day. Check out the EPA’s information on selecting a service provider and preventing future air duct contamination.

3. Radon
A natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site has useful information about the risks of radon and where it is commonly found. You can purchase a do-it-yourself radon test at a home improvement store and get the results in a matter of days. Homes in certain parts of the country, and those with dirt basements, are particularly susceptible to the gas. Read more about radon and how to Cancer Proof Your House.

4. Bisphenol-A
In a major study, leading scientific experts warned of adverse health effects from bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in water bottles, cups, baby bottles, tin cans, and many other commonly used household products. Though the findings have been controversial–the American Chemistry Council maintains BPA is safe in low quantities–there has been a groundswell of effort to offer BPA-free products and, in some states, to ban BPA altogether.

BPA is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics (they often have a #7 recycling code), and in animal tests, it has caused problems ranging from an increase in the incidence of prostate and breast cancer, to early onset of puberty in girls, to diabetes and obesity.

5. Lead
Lead is another invisible threat in your home, and one that’s easy to discover. It is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the brain and result in a lower IQ, memory problems, and increased aggression, and can be found in old paint, pipes, and even soil. You can have your home tested for lead by a professional, or you can purchase a lead test kit and swab surfaces for evidence of the chemical. If there is exposed lead paint, a fresh layer of non-lead paint on top is usually sufficient. If your home has lead pipes, those will need to be updated.

6. Mold
Basements are often the culprits of mold spores, which can produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially harmful toxins. Black mold is an especially dangerous type of mold. If you discover mold in your house (or suspect it could be in your house), you should promptly clean it up and fix the water problem that is causing the mold.

7. Rats
Let’s face it–even the fanciest houses have gone to war with rats. Rats don’t seem to discriminate, and we’re all at risk for their bone-chilling presence. Not only can they eat through electrical wires in attics and cause fires, they are carriers of parasites and diseases, including tuberculosis, salmonella, Weil’s disease, and E.coli. If you suspect you might have rats, call a pest removal service and have them patch any entry points on your house that could be exploited by the rodents.

Love rats? Read Rats as Hero’s?

8. Cockroaches
While we’re talking about creepy crawlers, we can’t forget cockroaches, which love warm and humid locales. They carry a range of bacteria, including salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. You may need professional help to rid your house of roaches (and in some regions of the country, like where I live in the South, this is an uphill battle), or you can try to do it yourself. The Better Health Channel has some good tips for treating your house: empty the kitchen trash can regularly; don’t stack newspapers, cardboard boxes, or magazines inside the house; do not leave pet food out; repair any holes in the walls; and use physical traps, such as greased margarine tubs with a smear of honey to lure and then contain the roaches.”

If you interested in more Green ideas please visit this site called “Green Thing”.

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