*Health Technician *Consultant *Health Tips And Advice
Monday, 11 July 2016
Hidden Dangers In Your Home...
It’s important to think about the dangers that might be hiding around your house, so you are better armed to eliminate them for the health and safety of your family and yourself.
Mold grows in sunlight-devoid, damp places. Sneak a peek into your basement and you may find mold on the ceilings, floors and old furniture legs.
Other common mold-infested places include shower stalls, in and around shower heads and drain pipes, and on your windows and doors.
Also, if you have water leaking through your roof or out of plumbing systems, mold might grow and release airborne spores from behind your walls and under carpets, rugs and wooden floors.
Mold also builds up inside central air conditioning and heating systems and is constantly inhaled when these systems are used.
A 2011 study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology notes that significant mold buildup was found in portions of Christmas trees and was directly linked to the spike in respiratory illnesses in December.
Common symptoms of mold infestation include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, itchy and watery eyes, migraines, joint and muscle pain, depression, visual disruptions, memory loss, stomach aches and shortness of breath.
Overtime, these symptoms can worsen and lead to severe gastrointestinal ailments, sinus problems and asthma.
Lead is a highly toxic substance that causes nerve disorders, reproductive problems, miscarriages, high blood pressure, poor muscle coordination, and reduced growth and brain damage in children.
Although countries like the U.S. have banned lead paint since the 1970s, it continues to be sold in other countries despite restrictions and is used in houses, offices and schools. Even in countries like the U.S., many people live in houses built before 1970s that still contain lead paint.
When lead paint starts degrading, paint dust and chunks settle on the floor, windowsills, countertops, furniture, clothing and children’s toys — exposing everyone in the house to this toxic substance.
Children who have a habit of putting their hands and other items in their mouths are even more susceptible to its damage.
Water pipes in your homes may also contain lead.
3. Household Cleaners
Cleaning aids like detergents, soaps, bleaching agents and specialized products to keep your windows, ovens, countertops, toilet bowls and mirrors looking spic and span may contain toxic substances.
When inhaled regularly, phenols found in disinfectants like toilet cleaners and ethylene glycol found in window cleaners can damage organs by altering the blood’s acid levels.
They also cause abdominal pain, nausea and bloody stools. They can swell your throat, make breathing difficult, cause chronic headaches and seizures, as well as brain, kidney and liver damage.
Sodium hydroxide found in oven cleaners may burn the skin and damage the tissues.
Many household detergents contain nonylphenols that mimic the functions of naturally occurring hormones in the body.
According to a 2012 report by the World Health Organization, these may severely affect the thyroid, metabolism and blood sugar levels. They may even cause neurological damage, infertility and cancer.
They also harm the development of organs and the neural system in unborn babies during pregnancy.
Carpets contain chemicals like organotins, permethrin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that may prove incredibly hazardous to your health with long-term exposure, according to a 2001 study by Greenpeace Research Laboratories.
PCBs are known to cause severe skin rashes, breathing disorders, liver damage, thyroid gland disorders, cancer and several reproductive problems including miscarriage.
A 2015 study published in the Environmental Research notes that children exposed to PCBs during pregnancy suffered asymmetrical hearing loss up until adulthood.
PCBs found in carpet are usually brought in from the outside on the soles of your shoes and your pets’ paws. If your house is located close to industrial areas, factories and urban centers, it is likely that a huge amount of PCBs is being carried into your home and settling in your floors and carpets.
Carpets also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene, toluene and formaldehyde, that may cause hallucinations and nerve damage.
5. Air Fresheners
Air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as ethylene-based glycol ethers and terpenes, that react with the ozone in the environment to form secondary hazardous pollutants like formaldehyde, according to a 2006 study published in Indoor Air.
According to a 2011 study by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 12 of the 14 tested air fresheners contained phthalates.
These substances mimic hormones in the body and cause asthma, reproductive disorders, breast cancer, neurological disorders, obesity, diabetes and autism.
6. Baby Bottles
Yes, the plastic bottle you are using to feed your child might just be the most harmful thing around.
Baby bottles contain a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) that is used to harden the plastic, prevent rusting and eliminate bacteria.
When these bottles are overheated or repeatedly washed, the BPA in the plastic ultimately breaks down and mingles with the milk.
BPA is known to cause prostate cancer, reproductive disorders in males, early puberty in females, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and obesity. Children exposed to BPA are more vulnerable to its harmful effects as their organs are still developing.