healthy home tips

Protect Your Kids from Environmental Toxins; Strive for a Healthy Home

You may crave Home Sweet Home, but if your place harbors mold, lead, poor indoor air quality, or contaminated water, you may be heading towards an unhealthy future.

You can avoid lots of problems if you have your home tested by an independent, unbiased environmental testing service that performs testing only. (Leave remediation to other firms so you avoid a conflict of interest.)

The Toxic Culprits:

Mold

mold asthma linkHere’s a scary fact: infants who live in homes that contain mold are three times more likely to develop asthma by age seven, according to a study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. The study determined that early life exposure to mold plays a critical role in childhood asthma development. But that’s not all. Mold can cause headaches, rashes, depression, listlessness, allergies, and flu-like symptoms.

If you smell a musty odor, you probably have a mold problem. Mold can hide just about anywhere – behind walls, under carpeting or floorboards, or in ducts. In order to pinpoint the source of a mold issue, test.

Lead

leaded windowsillIf you live in a home built before 1978 – the year lead paint was banned – chances are there are layers of lead paint on your walls, windows or any other painted surfaces inside or outside. Even the smallest levels of lead exposure from paint chips or lead dust caused when you open and shut those windows or have deteriorated lead painted surfaces can irreversibly affect a child’s development, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Children can easily ingest household lead because it exists in paint chips, tap water, dust, and even in your soil outdoors. Lead poisoning has been shown to cause autism, ADHD, brain damage, lower IQs, and a host of other physical and mental problems.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

indoor air qualityPoor indoor air quality is not just about radon anymore (even though it is still the second leading cause of lung cancer.) Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are making a huge name for themselves – and not in a good way. VOCs are toxic vapors that are off-gassed from man-made materials including everyday household products.

VOCs cause poor indoor air quality, commonly referred to as “indoor air pollution.” VOCs come from detergents, furniture, carpeting, air fresheners, and a number of other products. They can cause headaches, dizziness, nervousness, and nausea in the short-term; and cancer, kidney damage, liver damage, and central nervous system damage long-term.

About 80% of indoor air pollution is caused by either mold or VOCs. An indoor air quality test will help you to identify or rule out the issue.

Contaminated Water

water testingBelieve it or not, you are in constant contact with your water supply. Every time you clean a dish, prepare a bottle, draw a warm bath, or even wash your hands before you touch your baby’s skin or eat a meal, you are exposing yourself and your child to whatever is in your water supply. And what’s in the supply can be nasty: we’re talking lead, bacteria, heavy metals from pipes, arsenic that naturally occurs in groundwater, radon, pesticides, and more.

Whether you drink from well water or water piped into your city from reservoirs, consider ordering a water test from an independent source. A comprehensive analysis of your drinking water is important to the health of your family.

There are dozens of reasons to have your home tested for unhealthy environmental hazards including mold, lead, and other toxins. But the one that matters most is your family’s health. Schedule a test today and make sure your home is the safest place it can be. Call RTK at 800.392.6468 or click here.