3 Hidden Health Dangers in Your Home

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3 Hidden Health Dangers in Your Home

Health threats are sometimes invisible — you may not even realize they exist. For example, poor indoor air quality affects many homes, but homeowners are often unaware they have a problem until someone gets sick. The good news is that many hidden household dangers are easy to avoid. It just takes educating yourself about possible health threats and taking steps to avoid them.

Discover three hidden health risks that might be lurking in your home and ways to protect your family from them.

Cleaning Products Containing Harsh Chemicals

While most people assume cleaning products are safe, the truth is that many of them contain toxic chemicals. You can’t avoid these toxins altogether, but you can take steps to reduce your exposure to them. It’s important to educate yourself and use alternatives when possible.

Phthalates, also known as endocrine disrupters, are found in most fragranced household products. Studies have shown exposure to them can cause problems with reproductive health. To reduce your exposure, opt for fragrance-free or organic
products.

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in many dishwashing soaps and antibacterial hand soaps. It may promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and disrupt hormone function. To avoid it, use detergents and soaps with short ingredient lists and without antibacterial triclosan.

Phthalates and triclosan are just two examples of harmful chemicals that your cleaning products may contain. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to avoid them and others like them. To reduce your exposure, experiment with a few do-it-yourself cleaning product recipes.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can have a significant impact on your health. Indoor air quality problems are often caused by volatile organic compoundsIndoor air quality problems are often caused by volatile organic compounds or VOCs. You can’t see or smell them, but they can wreak havoc on your health. To reduce VOCs in your home, don’t store or use products that contain them, such as paint and aerosol sprays, inside. Additionally, it’s a good idea to invest in air purifiers and ventilators to improve the overall air quality in your home.

Faulty Fire Alarms

House fires are responsible for the majority of fire-related deaths, and about half of these fatalities are related to a lack of working fire alarms in homes. If you don’t have fire alarms, install them. If your home has working fire alarms, check them every month and replace the batteries once or twice a year.

In addition, have a fire safety plan in place. Experts say you only have about two minutes to get out of a burning building, so your fire safety plan should give everyone in the house a quick way to exit and a place to meet outside.

Even the most motivated, health-conscious homeowners can overlook some of the hidden dangers lurking in their homes. No one is perfect, and it’s impossible to plan for every contingency. However, you can minimize hidden health risks by doing a little research and making a few changes. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple adjustments to your home to make it a healthier place for you and your family.

Image via Flickr by marcoverch

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