The Problem: How safe is your home?
Most people spend well over 90% of their time indoors. In which case, indoor air is going to impact our health far more than outdoor air. The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are "sick", meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.
A baby crawling on the floor may inhale the equivalent of four cigarettes a day, and is exposed to a multitude of pollutants, as a result of the out gassing of carpets, molds, mildews, fungi, dust mites, etc.
|Pollutant||Possible Side Effect||Source||Pollution Fighter|
|Airborne Particles||Respiratory problems, allergies||Carpets, Ducts||Hepa Air Filtration System ... Frequent Airing Throughout the Day / Keeping Windows Open ... Removing Carpeting|
|Allergens||Respiratory problems, skin reactions.||Polluted air, pet hair, feather dander, dust mites, chemicals in household and personal care products.||Click here for information on how to reduce allergens in your environment.|
|Asbestos||Researchers discovered that the fibers are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs and can scar lung tissue, cause lung cancer and mesothelioma - a fairly uncommon cancer of the lining of the lung or abdominal cavity.||If your home was built between 1920 and 1978, you may be exposed to asbestos, which was at that commonly used as roofing and floor materials, wall and pipe insulation, heating equipment and acoustic insulation.||Click here for information on how to eliminate asbestos from your environment.|
|Benzene||Carcinogen, skin and eye irritant, headaches, loss of appetite, drowsiness, tiredness||Inks, oils, paints, plastics, rubber, dyes, detergents, gasoline, tobacco smoke, synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals||Pollution-reducing Plants: Dracaena Marginata, English Ivy, Janet Craig (fern), Warneckel, Peace Lily*, Chrysanthemum**, Gerbera Daisy**|
|Carbon Monoxide (CO)||
Low concentrations: fatigue, chest pain.
Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages; and tobacco smoke.
Click here for information on how to avoid CO poisoning.
|Formaldehyde||Irritated eyes, nose, throat, headaches, contact dermatitis, and others||Room deodorizers, carpets / carpet backing, permanent press clothing / fabric, foam insulation, plywood, pressed wood products, plastic grocery bags, wax paper, facial tissue, paper towels, water repellants, adhesive binders in floor coverings, cigarette smoke, natural gas, kerosene, new furniture made from pressed wood, resin-based particle boards, fiberboards, cabinets, countertops||Boston Fern, Aloe Vera, Chrysanthemum**, Rubber Plants, Gerber Daisy**, Date Palm, Bamboo Palm, Azalea, Spider Plant, Golden Pothos, Dracaena Massangeana, Snake Plant, Philodendron aka Sweetheart Plant, Heart-leaf Philodendron, Parlor Ivy|
|Lead||Lead may cause irreversible neurological damage as well as renal disease, cardiovascular effects, and reproductive toxicity.||Paint (click on link for non-toxic alternatives), Water, Candles||
Click here for information on lead in your environment.
|Mold & Mildew||Irritations of eye, nose, throat, and lungs; skin infections; respiratory problems, death.||Air Conditioner, Humidifier, Heat Ducts, Cabinets||Eliminate Mold / Mildew. Click here to find out how.|
|Nitrogen Dioxide||Eye, nose, and throat irritation. Impaired lung function and increased respiratory infections.||Wood-burning Stove & Fireplace Smoke|
|Petroleum based chemicals, foams, plastics and flame retardants||
Common petroleum based chemicals have been clearly shown to have the ability to weaken or damage the immune and nervous system.
Autoimmune disorders have also been linked with exposure to petroleum-based chemicals and have been found to be the underlying etiology of many common health problems today (soft tissue damage, arthritis, etc).
Bed Mattresses / Bedding: People can become ill by repeated and continuous exposure to the low level of chemicals continuously emitted during the sleep process. The situation is dramatically compounded by the fact that sleeping on a bed (or chemically manufactured pillow) places the individual in extremely close proximity to the chemical source (inches compared to feet for most other chemical exposures). This direct contact means that concentrations of chemicals are many, many times higher than they would be if the source was at a greater distance, and thereby becoming less harmful because of dilution.
Fabric softeners, Clorox, and very strong chemical based fragrances in some detergents i.e. GAIN.
Natural / Untreated Rubber (Latex) Mattresses, for example, are excellent choices.
Used natural / non-toxic detergents (i.e., Seventh Generation or ECOS)
|Radon Gas||Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually. (EPA Website)||Radon is a radioactive gas given off by soil or rock with trace amounts of uranium or radium -- elements that decay. The major sources of radon come from the soil surrounding the house. The gas can enter through cracks in the foundation floor and walls, drains, sumps, joints or other openings. It can even be transported through water.||
Click here for information on how to avoid Radon poisoning.
|Contaminated Water||Allergies, lead poisoning, bacterial and parasite infections (Giardia)||Click here for information on to check on the water quality in your area and how to improve it.|
|Tobacco Smoke||Long-term exposure to tobacco increases your risk for lung cancer, respiratory infections, other lung problems, and possibly heart disease.||Smoking.||Don't allow tobacco smoke in your home.|
|Thrichloro-ethylene||Potential for liver damage||Found in dry cleaning and in printing inks, paints, varnishes, lacquers, and adhesives||Peace Lily*, Dracaena Janet Craig, Dracaena Warnecki, Dracaena Marginata, Chrysanthemum**|
|Xylene||Affects the brain; headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, balance; skin / eye / nose / throat irritation; difficulty breathing; lung problems; delayed reaction time; memory difficulties; stomach discomfort; possibly changes in the liver and kidneys; unconsciousness; death||Solvent in paints and varnishes, used in the printing, rubber, and leather industries; certain types of pens, writing and drawing instruments, bingo dabbers and art supplies||Areca palm, Chrysalidocarpus, Lutescens, Dwarf date palm, Phoenix roebelenii, Bamboo palm, and others|
**If you are sensitive to pollen, avoid chrysanthemum and daisy arrangements as they are ragweed relatives.
We tend to spend most of our lives in tightly sealed indoor environments. If fresh air can't enter the house, it gets filled with internal pollutants, such as harmful fumes caused by paints (click on link for non-toxic alternatives), cleaning products, deodorizers and wood smoke. Even our furnishings, carpeting, and clothing can emit dangerous pollutants.
Newly introduced harmful chemicals, especially in carpet, can easily be detected by the odor they give off. They smell "new." Open up a cupboard door and smell. If it smells "funny," formaldehyde may be present. If you see discolored walls, it may be mold.
One's senses aren't always reliable, so if you're unsure, have the home professionally tested. If you're thinking of buying a house, consider hiring an inspector who is experienced and will look for signs of possible indoor pollutants.
Researchers discovered that the fibers are small enough to be inhaled into the lungs and can scar lung tissue, cause lung cancer and mesothelioma - a fairly uncommon cancer of the lining of the lung or abdominal cavity.
- Is there Lead in Your Drinking Water? Click here for tips to find out and reduce lead exposure from your tab water.
Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.
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