Jan - 17 - 2015

House Contaminants that Can Affect Your Health

The moisture problems in the basement, mold in the bathroom, presence of contaminants in the ambient air, poor air circulation, noxious fumes from household products and building materials, etc are really dangerous for our well being. Of all of these contaminants that cause health problems, it’s difficult to separate the myths from real health hazards. Anyway, rest assured, there are some simple and affordable solutions for you to take against house contaminants that can affect your health.

Biological agents

  • Biological agents are substances that come from living things or are living beings capable of causing adverse effects or diseases on other biological organisms like humans in particular. These living beings include substances or parasitic infectious agents, non-infectious microorganisms such as fungi and algae, plants and their by-products.
  • Prevention measures:
    In order to protect against these harmful contaminants, it’s advisable to install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is a powerful device designed to control the level of humidity in your house, thus preventing any contaminants from spreading in your house. If you are uncertain of which model to choose, you can use the reviews featured on bestdehumidifier.reviews in order to compare several units.

Biological contaminants

  • Mites
    Dust mites are tiny insects that live in the dirt and need a moist and warm environment to multiply. The droppings of the mites are the main source of allergens found in homes. Dust mites are found mainly in mattresses, pillows and carpets. If you have an older spring mattress, you might want to compare best mattresses, and replace the old one with a newer and better mattress. Nearly 80% of children with asthma have some degree of mite allergy. They cause allergic reactions such as asthma, chronic cold and eczema.
    It’s almost impossible to completely avoid avoid dust mite allergens. However, a decrease in their number can reduce allergic reactions:
  • Prevention measures:
    Keep humidity down 50%.
    Increase ventilation in the rooms, bathrooms and kitchen.
    Avoid objects that gather dust(wall rugs, heavy curtains, non-washable stuffed animals).
    Frequently clean carpets and rugs, fabric furnishings, bed linen and use the covers to pillows and mattresses. Choosing an organic mattress is also a good way to go. If you compare best mattresses, you will see that organic mattresses can be quite expensive, but they are the safest choice, especially for people who suffer from allergy or asthma.

Chemical contaminants

  • Second-hand smoke
    The chemical composition of tobacco smoke consists of approximately 4000 substances, many of which can cause cancer. Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the symptoms of respiratory irritation, especially in young children, it is associated with a higher risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis. Secondhand smoke increases the frequency of episodes and severity of asthma, and can also cause new cases of asthma in children exposed before the age of one year.
  • Prevention measures:
    Establish, with the participation of smokers, smokeless policy in the house.
    Remove all ashtrays in the house.

Combustion products

  • Another major source of indoor air pollution is the use of combustion appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces and stoves. Carbon monoxide (CO) from the operation of a car in a garage or a faulty heater, is a formidable toxic source to young children because of its asphyxiating properties. It is strongly recommended to install CO detectors in homes with fuel-burning appliances. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which can be present in the medium inside due to the use of gas for cooking or kerosene for heating, is a potent pulmonary irritant, especially in children.
  • Prevention measures:
    Maintain an adequate care for your appliances annually. Do not use combustion appliances in enclosed or unventilated areas.
    Opt for an air purifier. An air purifier is a device designed to remove the contaminants in your house. This is actually the most efficient and affordable solution to clean the harmful particles that are found in your home and which can cause health problems.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical substances, the best known are petroleum products such as fuels, formaldehyde and acetone. They may be released from building materials: insulation foams, paints, carpeting, linoleum, wood framing and floors, etc. Aerosol sprays (insecticides, cosmetics, wax, etc.) adhesives, cleaning products (detergents, cleaners, stain removers, thinners, benzine, etc.), are sources of VOCs.
    In case of exposure, young children are most at risk because their respiratory systems are not fully developed. VOCs cause eye irritation and respiratory and digestive tracts, headache, symptoms of drunkenness, dizziness and nausea. Some VOCs, such as benzene and formaldehyde, also can cause cancer.
  • Prevention measures:
    Read labels to determine the presence of VOCs.
    Reduce their use.
    Follow the terms of use and disposal.
    Reduce their concentration by ventilation.

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