The odds of someone's home being an overtly dangerous environment are pretty slim these days. As building regulations and safety standards continually progress, people will only become safer and safer. Despite this truth, the fact remains that there are still a lot of people living in homes that contain hidden dangers they are unaware of. Some of these dangers are in the construction of the building itself. Other dangers can develop over time. In either case, it's important for homeowners to do everything they can to ensure that their home is a healthy home.
Common Household Dangers
Of the issues that could potentially make your home a more dangerous environment, there are a few that are more common than others. Things like radon, asbestos, mold and lead are some of the most likely environmental contaminants that homeowners will encounter. Identifying and quickly dealing with these issues should be something that all homeowners take seriously.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally throughout the world. It is the result of the decay of radium-226, which can occur in shale and other types of common rocks. It has been estimated that roughly 1 gram of radium is found in every square mile of top soil on Earth. Radon gas is odorless, tasteless, colorless and is most commonly known to promote lung cancer in residential exposure cases.
Some areas of the world face a greater risk of radon exposure than others. Homes in areas with large deposits of shale and schist have a greater occurrence of radium. Though these homes should absolutely go through regular radon testing and mitigation procedures, the truth is that they're not the only ones. Radon occurs naturally throughout the entire world. This means that everyone could stand to benefit from having radon testing done. If you find that your home has a dangerous amount of radon exposure, then you can begin mitigating that danger.
Asbestos is a silicate-based building material that was used very commonly in homes and other buildings for years. It has a very high resistance to fire, it is durable and it is very cheap. These factors led to its wide use in building projects for a long time. It wasn't until asbestos exposure was discovered to cause severe health problems that its use was abandoned.
Asbestos exposure can cause you to develop lung cancer, mesothelioma and a host of other conditions. The EPA tried to ban asbestos in the United States in 1989, but this action was halted by a lawsuit in 1991. Today, there is a limited range of products that are still allowed to contain asbestos.
Asbestos testing and removal services can be easily found in any city and they are always a worthwhile investment. Eliminating any asbestos that may be in your home can be a big step toward making your home safer.
Lead is a malleable metal element that is used for a broad range of industrial applications. It is used in batteries, construction materials, soldering and radioactive shielding. When ingested, lead can cause significant health issues. It can cause damage to the nervous system and other brain disorders. Due to this, lead is classified as a neurotoxin.
Lead-based pigments were once commonly used in residential paints. As these paints would dry and chip away, they would sometimes cause substantial health problems for the people living in the home. The paint could become dust that was breathed in and it was also sometimes ingested by small children. This led to these applications being restricted or eliminated throughout the United States and Europe.
Lead testing and removal is important for all homeowners. Even if you haven't used any lead-based paints in your home, there are still many ways for your home to become contaminated with lead. Due to the significant nerve damage that can be incurred by even minor lead poisoning, it makes sense to have your home tested.
Mold is one of the most common dangers to human health found in homes throughout the country. Things like lead and asbestos can be regulated and their potential danger can be limited. However, mold can't be regulated by anything other than proper housekeeping practices. Even then, mold can take hold in places where you least expect it. Mold is most prevalent in cold, damp areas of your home. For many homeowners, this means that mold is most prevalent in basements or attics. The prevalence of mold throughout the country makes mold treatment and removal a necessity for all homeowners.
Healthy Homes are Happy Homes
Keeping your home healthy and safe from environmental contaminants is an important part of being a homeowner. It has never been easier to rid your home of these potential contaminants than it is today. All it takes is a little initiative to identify and eliminate these threats from your home.