As a homeowner, it’s helpful to be aware of potential health hazards. Common household threats can affect our well-being if undetected or untreated. Here are a few health hazards in the home and how to address them. Make your living spaces safe and keep your family healthy.
Health Hazards in the Home
Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp environments such as basements and bathrooms. It can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, sneezing, and even asthma-like symptoms. Keep rooms dry and well-ventilated to prevent mold growth, use dehumidifiers if necessary, and inspect walls for discoloration or other signs of water damage. If you find mold in your home, clean it immediately. If the damage is extensive, contact a professional for removal.
Pest infestations are common health hazards in a home. Uninvited guests, such as rodents, cockroaches, and other insects, threaten family members’ well-being and cause property damage.
A wide variety of pests pose health risks to humans; some spread disease, while others trigger allergic reactions or cause physical injury. Rats, for example, often carry dangerous bacteria that can spread through contact and lead to illnesses such as leptospirosis or salmonella infection. Cockroaches can contaminate food sources with their droppings and create an unhealthy environment due to the allergens they produce.
Health Hazards in the Home: Asbestos
Asbestos is an odorless mineral fiber found in insulation, siding, flooring, and other building materials manufactured before 1980. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other serious illnesses. If you suspect asbestos may be present in your home due to the age of the property or renovations before the 1980s, contact a professional for testing and removal if necessary.
Lead paint was used until 1978, when it was banned due to its toxicity. Lead poisoning caused by exposure to lead dust can have serious consequences, such as headaches, anemia, and kidney damage. In young children, lead can contribute to developmental challenges. Generally, lead paint is considered safe when it is intact and not chipped or peeling. If you live in a home with flaking or cracking lead-based paint, hire an experienced professional specializing in lead paint removal.
While some risks are easy enough for homeowners to mitigate themselves (such as keeping areas dry), others require the help of professionals (like asbestos removal). Contact a trusted professional immediately if you suspect something hazardous exists within your home. Make your living spaces safe to keep your family healthy.