We expect our houses to be safe, happy places in which our families can relax and grow, not hotbeds of dangerous carcinogens. To help keep the air your family breathes safe and clean, watch out for these three common household irritants.
Indoor Air Pollutants. The EPA recently stated that indoor air pollution might pose a greater risk to a family’s health than pollutants in the air outside. Oil, gas, kerosene, tobacco smoke, damp carpets, heating and cooling systems, and household cleaners are all health hazards that can release harmful or toxic chemicals into the air in your home. To help protect your family from these household dangers, eliminate toxins over which you have control (e.g. tobacco smoke), and increase ventilation when possible by opening windows or operating attic fans. (To learn more, read the EPA’s booklet here.)
Dust Mites. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that feed on dead human skin cells. They’re found in almost every home, and can often trigger asthma and lead to increased allergy symptoms. These common household irritants can be reduced. To protect your family, clean your house often, wash bedding in hot water, and purchase allergen-proof covers when possible.
Mold. Warm, high-moisture environments serve as ideal breeding grounds for mold, but mold can grow almost anywhere. Individuals exposed to mold may develop stuffy noses, throat or eye irritation, coughs, even chronic respiratory infections or lung diseases. To protect your family from this common household irritant, promptly fix any leaks, ventilate high-moisture areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, and keep humidity levels below 60 percent. For additional tips, visit the CDC’s “Facts about Mold and Dampness.