Tuesday, May 19, 2020

We like to think that our homes are clean and hygienic environments, protecting us against the ravages of the natural world. But when you peel back the layers a little, you discover something shocking: they’re not as safe as you might imagine. There are all kinds of hidden toxins in your home, and they could be wrecking your health. 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of these, giving you a heads-up. 

Carbon Monoxide

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Carbon monoxide is a very different chemical to the mostly harmless carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it preferentially attaches to the hemoglobin molecules in your blood. It sticks to them, preventing them from taking up the oxygen you need to supply your cells with energy. 

Worse still, carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas; you usually have no idea whether you’re breathing it in or not. 

So what does any of this have to do with your home? It turns out that carbon monoxide is a byproduct of many appliances in your property. Sources include heating systems, coal, oil or gas devices, and your water heater. Even regular, open fireplaces can be a source of excessive CO. 

The solution is to get a carbon dioxide monitor - a bit like a smoke alarm. It’ll tell you whether your home's levels are safe, or whether you need to make radical changes to your current setup. 

Salmonella, E. coli, And Other Germs

Salmonella and E. coli are two types of bacteria that live naturally in most of our homes. In general, there is no way to get rid of them completely. The best you can do is keep their numbers down and foster the growth of the harmless subspecies in both groups. Failing to do so can lead to vomiting, UTIs, and serious lower bowel infections. 

The best strategy is to keep meat and animal products out of your home completely. Even using the most clinical approaches, it is almost impossible to eliminate these bacteria entirely. 

If you check here, you’ll also see that some microbes can enter your home through the water supply. Therefore, it is a good idea to use a water filter to capture bacteria before they do any harm. 

Lead Toxicity

Lead has been pretty much outlawed for the last forty years. But some homes still contain the heavy metal, despite the regulatory changes. The most common sources of lead in the house are lead paints (many of which are now flaking off walls) and lead pipes. 

If you’re worried about lead poisoning in your home, you can get a lead testing kit. This device will tell you whether levels of lead are in the safe range or whether you have a problem. 

If you’re over the safe threshold, you should hire a certified lead removal company. These professionals are able to strip lead from your home without contamination of surfaces, floors, or anything else. Do not attempt a DIY removal as this could make the risk of toxicity worse. 

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