Your home may be beautiful. Your home may be comfortable. Your home may be your dream home, but is it really safe? There are many hidden dangers that can lurk in your home without you even knowing it. The problem is that they can cause serious health problems if not detected. Three of the most common types of hidden dangers in homes are mold, lead and unsafe drinking water.
Mold is present everywhere in small amounts. The problems start occurring when there are large amounts of active mold in your home. All mold needs to grow is a food source such as wood, paper or dirt, and moisture. As it grows, it releases tiny spores that travel through the air and that people then inhale. Inhaling large amounts of spores can cause serious health problems such as allergies and respiratory illnesses.
You might have a mold problem in your home if you have a problem with moisture (from showers or stoves, improperly vented dryers, leaky roofs or damp basements, plumbing leaks or flooding. You might notice mold on the surface in the form of a discoloration of the surface, but it could also be hidden behind the walls. If people in your family start showing the signs of overexposure to mold, it’s a good idea to have your home tested. These symptoms include respiratory problems, congestion, eye irritations, coughing and skin rashes.
Even though lead naturally appears in the environment, even the smallest amounts can be highly toxic to humans. For many years, this highly toxic substance was used in many household products. Because of this, high numbers of children (who are often very susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning) were reported as having elevated lead levels in their blood. The EPA has been working to reduce the amounts of lead in gasoline, household products such as paint, pollution and drinking water.
This work has reduced the numbers of children who have high levels of lead in their systems, but it’s important to remain aware of the possibility of having lead in your home. If you live in an older home, there may be lead paint that your children could ingest in the form of paint chips or dust and the ground surrounding the home may be contaminated.
People exposed to high levels of lead might experience vomiting, diarrhea or even death. Long term exposures to low levels of lead can cause damage to the nervous system among other things, so it’s important to have your home tested if you think you may be at risk.
Drinking water is essential to sustain life, but if it contains harmful substances, you might be at risk. All new water sources should be tested for its safety before use and all older water sources should be tested periodically for changes. There are many possible impurities that could be in your water and the only way to know for sure what is in your drinking water is to have it tested.
Sources: California Department of Health Services (www.cal-iaq.org)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)
University of Florida, IFAS Extension (www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu)
2) Safety Tips to Help you Keep Yourself and Your Family Healthy
If you suspect there might be a hidden danger in your home, have it tested immediately, especially if you have children, elderly or ill people living in your home that may be more susceptible to the health problems associated with these dangers.
If your house has flooded (due to weather or plumbing problems) be sure to watch for mold growth and the symptoms of its effects since this is one of the major causes of mold growth in homes.
www.RubyStone.com has several products to help keep your home a safe place to live: “The Germ Guardian” and “Home Test Kits”
The Germ Guardian is a unique product specifically designed as an air sanitizer to kill bacteria, viruses and germs. It is unlike anything you have seen or used before. Forget ionizers and filters, this is completely new. The stainless steel and aluminum Germ Guardian takes in germs, bacteria, viruses, (airborne agents) and neutralizes them without the use of filters. It then streams sanitized air into the room.
Our website also has several home test kits that you can use to detect hidden dangers in your home including tests for mold, lead and water. Visit the website (www.rubystone.com) to see the entire line of home tests kits.