By guest contributor Beck Rodgers, Building Ideology
We spend over 90% of our time inside, yet our homes are often overlooked when considering our health. 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 health hazards in our homes.
We can all live in a 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.
- 2. Dust
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. Dust & dust mites can trigger hay fever, asthma and sinusitis.
- 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.
- 4. Mould
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 reduce these toxins
- 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.
- Have a Building Biology Home Inspection. If you are serious about eliminating and minimising the toxins and hazards in your home, you should consider using the services of a Building Biologist. Being specifically trained to identify multiple toxins and hazards in our homes and indoor environments, and with the knowledge to provide you with realistic solutions, a Building Biologist will provide you with the peace of mind that you are doing all that you can to protect yourself and your loved ones from the health hazards that are commonly found in our homes.
About the author
Beck Rodgers, Certified Building Biologist and owner of Building Ideology understands that the change to living a healthier, chemical free, low-tox lifestyle can be time consuming, a bit daunting and can often leave you feeling overwhelmed dealing with all the information out there. Beck also recognises that our homes can have a significant impact on our health and it can often be difficult to pinpoint the source of the problem.
By identifying and finding hazards in your home that can be affecting your health, and providing you with realistic solutions and knowledge, Beck will help get you on the road to your chemical free, healthier lifestyle faster, reducing stress, saving you time and money, so you can live in a home that supports the health and wellbeing of you and your family.
Get in touch with Beck to find out more www.buildingideology.com.au
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/buildingideology
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