We spend over 90% of our time inside, yet our homes are often overlooked when considering our health. A healthy home is so important for the our health and the health of our families. Many health conditions including allergies, asthma, cancer, miscarriage, chronic inflammation, recurrent cold and flu, fatigue, eczema, headaches, sleep disorders, learning and behavioural problems can be linked to our homes.
We can all live in a healthy home that supports our health and wellbeing, by knowing where the common hazards are in our homes and how to remove them.
5 Common Health Hazards Found in Our Homes
1. Cleaning and Personal Care Products
Cleaning and personal care products can contain toxic chemicals including Triclosan, which can disrupt thyroid function; fragrances, which commonly cause skin reactions and asthma; and phthalates, a known endocrine disrupter which is also linked to birth defects, infertility and reproductive changes in children. Preservatives used can cause skin irritation and allergies, with some releasing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
Dust in our homes can contain a mixture of pollutants such as pesticides, bacteria, viruses, fungal spores, pollen, flame retardants, heavy metals including lead, soil, pet hair, textile fibres, and dust mites. Hay fever, asthma and sinusitis can be triggered by dust & dust mites.
3. Combustion Gases
Combustion gases from gas heaters and cook tops can include carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and sulphur dioxide. These can cause respiratory problems, asthma, and eye, nose and throat irritation. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal, and at lower concentrations may cause difficulty concentrating, headaches, weakness, nausea, clumsiness, confusion or disorientation, fatigue, impaired vision and coordination and dizziness.
Mould might not be obvious, and can be hiding in ceilings, under floors or behind walls and furniture. It can cause or worsen asthma, produce allergy like symptoms or dermatitis. For some of us, mould exposure can produce an inflammatory response resulting in chronic illness and fatigue.
5. Electro Pollution
Many of our appliances and wireless gadgets are exposing you and your loved ones to potentially harmful forms of electromagnetic frequencies. These invisible fields can cause electrical sensitivity, headaches and sleep disorders, and have also been linked to childhood leukaemia, miscarriage and brain tumours, with the full consequences to our health just beginning to be uncovered.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved ones from Health Hazards in Your Home.
Don’t wear your shoes inside to reduce the amount of dust in your home, ultimately removing unwanted toxins.
Open windows and doors to let in fresh air, removing pollutants & odours. Keep a window open when using gas heaters and use your exhaust fan while cooking to remove VOC’s, combustion gases and moisture.
Check the ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products, and choose to use toxic free products.
Replace chemical cleaning products with non-toxic alternatives. Use damp microfibre cloths to remove dust. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter, motorised head and disposable electrostatic bags to remove larger amounts of dust and contaminants from your home.
Fix water leaks within 48 hours to prevent mould growth.
Avoid using mobile phones, cordless phones and other wireless devices whenever possible. Turn off your mobile phone at night or put into airplane mode. Don’t let children use mobile phones.
Avoid electronics and appliances in your bedroom. If you must have them, keep them at least 1 metre away from your bed and turn them off at the power point when not in use.
There is so many easy and free things we can do to ensure a healthy home for our family. Try out some of these easy tips to remove the health hazards in your home.