Is Your House Making You Sick?


Isn’t it hard to believe that your home would be toxic, making you and your family sick? This could be the case though. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that pollution is 2 to 5 times greater indoors than outside!  What are these toxins? How are they getting in to your home and what can you do to protect you and your family? Most of the people don’t know what can cause this, for example they may think that its inside the walls, they replace the walls and install alside vinyl siding. But the problem is usually somewhere else.

Radon. Radon is a colorless odorless gas that naturally occurs in soil and rock. It seeps into homes through cracks in foundations or wall joints. Radon is a known cancer causing agent and also a trigger for asthma. It is estimated that Radon is the cause of 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. You can test for Radon in your own home by calling a professional inspector or getting a test-it-yourself kit. If you discover you have Radon in your home it can be properly ventilated outside. And if the problem is only on the surface of the wall then you can just repaint the walls with high quality latex paints.

Mold and Mildew. According to Montreal asbestos testers Molds can be found just about anywhere. Especially in dark, wet basements or inside walls or attics where you may have had a leaky roof . Mildew and molds are commonly found in bathrooms. I would especially say those bathrooms of teenage girls. (Ok that’s just totally my opinion here..I have teenage daughters and they take really long, hot showers.) Responses to mold include increase in allergies, asthma or other respiratory symptoms. It is important to control the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier, especially in basements. Always make sure your bathroom vent is working and in use during showers. You may consider choosing to hire a professional to clean and remove mold from your home. Unsafely attempting to remove on your own may expose you to a greater risk of breathing in spores or fumes from products used to clean and remove mold.

Lead in Drinking water. Lead can be leached into your drinking water by old pipes and fixtures in your home. Lead exposure can cause many health problems, especially in children, like learning disabilities or problems with attention spans.  I personally filter all the water we use for drinking and cooking. I used to just think getting any water pitcher would do but I was shocked to find that most do not filter lead. I have only found one that does. I have two pitchers and I fill them several times a day!

Dust Mites and Pet Dander. Both of these are two big asthma triggers. Dust mites like to hang out where human skin “flakes” collect, mainly sheets, beds, bathroom rugs or carpets. They also like dust. Hmm, Go figure. Pet dander is self explanatory, it comes from pets. Wash sheets and bathroom rugs weekly in hot water. Consider removing carpet or getting some professional cleaners from time to time.  There is also the option of switching out to hardwood or laminate floors. These surfaces are so much easier to clean. Thirdly, control the dust in your house by frequently cleaning with a damp cloth or wet mop. What a chore huh? Split up the responsibility, hire someone or get excited about it because cleaning is hard work and you burn calories in the process. Look at the bright side.

Our Feet. You would be shocked if you knew what you carried in on the soles of your shoes. Pesticides, weed killers and e.coli are tracked in on the dirt on the bottom of your shoes. Place a door mat on the outside of your entry doors as well as large rugs when you enter. Remove your shoes at the door to stop from spreading pollutants throughout the house.

Household Cleaners. I could get up on my “soap box” here and talk for hours about the chemicals in conventional household cleaners.  It is one the topics that gets my blood boiling, simply because it is an unnecessary toxin in your home. 81,000 chemicals are registered with the EPA and yet they have only tested 20% of them for toxicity. 90% of all poisonings happen in the home. The Presidents Cancer Council even stated in their 230 plus page report, “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated.”  Safely dispose of your harmful products and switch your cleaners and laundry products to safe, natural, non toxic alternatives.

You can also improve your air quality indoors by opening windows in your home to let some fresh air in.  Purchase houseplants that clean up the air, good choices are palms, Boston fern, Ficus, Peace Lily, Philodendron and Rubber trees.

 Educate yourself and then take action because I believe that our homes should be the safest place on earth! Don’t you agree?

I’d love to see what you have done to decrease the pollution inside your home.  Join me on Facebook over at Kim Waggoner Health by posting a picture or comment of what changes you’ve made.

Kim Waggoner