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The Top Household Toxins that Can Make You Sick



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By : Mark Hostetler    99 or more times read
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an average carpet sample is home to more than 120 chemicals, many of which can potentially harm the brain and the nervous system. Volatile chemicals exist in our water supply, furniture, walls, fabrics, and air. These toxins are impossible to avoid entirely, as they exist in so many of our daily products. As consumers, we need to educate ourselves about what kinds of substances we're bringing into our homes. The first step is to get to know the four most dangerous (and prevalent) toxins that can be found in the average household. Once you know what you and your family are up against, you can better safeguard the place that you spend most of your time—your home.

Lead

Lead is a heavy metal that has been used in building construction, paint, and plumbing fixtures for many years. It wasn't until the 1970s and 80s though that lead-based products such as household paints, toys, and water systems became banned in the United States due to their high toxicity.

If you live in a home that was built before the late 70s, it's likely that there is some degree of lead in your interior paint. As long as the paint stays intact, it poses no danger, but regular wear and tear or renovations can dislodge paint chips and dust, thus making lead particles airborne. Once lead gets into the air, it gets breathed in, and can cause throat and lung irritation, headaches, nausea, memory loss, and even seizures in rare cases. In addition to dust in the air, lead can also be ingested if your drinking water is contaminated.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that has no color, scent, or taste. Because it's unnoticeable, carbon monoxide is extremely hazardous. Having a carbon monoxide detector located in the home is an extremely good idea. They are affordable, easy to use, and will let you know when your health is at risk.

Limited exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to headaches, irritability, and general unwellness, while concentrated doses will kill you in a short period of time.

Carbon monoxide gets into your house via heating systems such as fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, as well as propane-powered stoves, car exhaust, and more.

Radon

Like carbon monoxide, radon is a gas that is undetectable and highly dangerous. According to the American Lung Association, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Smokers who are exposed to radon find that their risk for getting lung cancer increases exponentially.

Radon gets into our air as the uranium in our rock and soil breaks down. These particles get into the home through cracks and holes in the foundation, are inhaled, and cause significant damage to tissues in the lungs and upper respiratory tract.

The only way to know if your home is at risk is to test for radon. There are do-it-yourself testing kits and certified Radon Inspectors available around the country.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a chemical compound that is commonly used in building materials, fabrics, carpeting, and household cleaners. Wall-to-wall carpeting and inexpensive furniture that contains particleboard instead of real wood gives off formaldehyde gas that can be emitted for years. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde quietly damages your delicate respiratory system, causing headaches, and triggering asthma. Formaldehyde is also considered to be cancer-causing, and its use was banned by the European Union in 2007.

To reduce your exposure to formaldehyde, opt for area rugs that are made of natural fabrics like cotton and wool instead of synthetic wall-to wall carpeting. In addition, you can apply sealant to particleboard to prevent toxic gases from being released into the air. Make sure that your home is well ventilated, and always read labels when you go shopping; formaldehyde is used in everything from fertilizer to cosmetics.
WelcomeHomeNevada.com provides a professional Las Vegas Realtor. For excellent agent services in the Las Vegas area, contact Mark Hostetler, who's eager to help you find a home with the Las Vegas MLS Listings tool.

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