4 Hazards Hiding in Your Home - PIH Health

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Published on January 26, 2017

4 Hazards Hiding in Your Home

Home with stethescope

Chronic wheezing, coughing and stuffiness may be caused by these hidden hazards.

home with stethescopeYour home is a place where you and your family should feel safe. You may not see or smell these home health risks, but they can be dangerous.

Here are 4 hidden home hazards:

  • Mold – Everyone is exposed to some level of mold, but mold inside your home can lead to respiratory problems, including wheezing, coughing and nasal stuffiness, as well as throat, eye and skin irritation. Get your home tested every 3 – 5 years and always hire a professional to remove mold.
  • Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas that causes more than 150 deaths a year, according to the U.S. Fire Safety Administration. The gas can be released from fireplaces and fuel-burning appliances that don’t work properly, aren’t vented or are used incorrectly. This includes furnaces, heaters, water heaters and stoves. To keep your family safe, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home.
  • Radon – You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. But radon in your home is dangerous. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon can be found in all types of homes, both old and new. If you live in a new energy-efficient house, it’s more likely that radon gas can get trapped indoors, increasing your risk of exposure.  A simple test you can do yourself will show if your home has dangerous radon levels. Radon test kits can be purchased in most home improvement stores or online.
  • Lead – Older homes may contain lead in pipes, paint and plumbing. Up to 20% of lead exposure comes from drinking water that runs through pipes contaminated with lead. Lead may also lurk in toys and consumer products made outside the U.S. The toxic metal is harmful to all systems in the body, especially the brain. It’s especially important to check for lead if you have kids in the house. If you live in an older home, have a lead test done. If lead is found, leave removal to a professional.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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