We all want our homes to be clean and our families to be healthy, but what if there were potential health hazards lurking around our homes that we don’t know about?
Here are some of the most common household hazards that may be lingering in your home and inexpensive ways to correct them:
Unless you sanitize them often, kitchen sponges can carry more germs than toilet seats. Sponges can harbor more than 100,000 bacteria, including food-borne diseases that were wiped off the counter. Toss them in the dishwasher regularly, replace them, or put them in the microwave for two minutes.
Dirty air ducts contain dust, pollen, bacteria, and even mold, and the contaminated air is recycled and circulated throughout your home, day after day.
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Purchase a do-it-yourself radon test at a home improvement store and get the results in a couple of days.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), scientific experts warned of adverse health effects from bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in water bottles, cups, baby bottles, tin cans, and other household products. BPA is a hormone-mimicking chemical used in polycarbonate plastics. They often have a #7 recycling code (www.rodale.com).
Lead is another invisible threat in your home. It is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the brain and can result in a lower IQ, memory problems, or increased aggression. Lead can be found in old paint, pipes, and even soil. Have your home tested for lead by a professional, or purchase a lead test kit and swab surfaces for evidence of the chemical (www.epa.gov/lead).
Basements are often the culprits of mold spores, which can produce allergens, irritants, and sometimes, potentially harmful toxins. Black mold is an especially dangerous type of mold. If you discover mold in your house, clean it up and fix the water problem that is causing the mold.
Aluminum, found in pots and pans, can leach into your food, and when ingested, can damage your kidneys and liver and weaken your bones. A growing number of researchers say the metal could cause Alzheimer’s disease. Glass, cast iron, stainless steel, and porcelain cookware are good alternatives to aluminum.
Bed sheets that have permanent press finishes which are commonly used by manufacturers in order to minimize wrinkling usually contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. Formaldehyde becomes a gas at room temperature and new or unwashed sheets can release formaldehyde fumes, causing flu-like symptoms. Avoid permanent press fabrics, and opt for organic cotton or bamboo sheets instead (www.ghchealth.com).
Cockroaches carry bacteria, including salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. Make sure the kitchen trash can is emptied regularly. Do not keep newspapers, cardboard boxes, or magazines stacked inside the house. Try not to leave pet food out, and repair any holes in the walls.
Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and the health of you and your family. For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to greencleancertified.com and maidbrigade.com. Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at greencleancertified.com/greentv. To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to greencleancertified.com/greentv.
For more information on cleaning products and breast cancer, please watch our video at maidbrigade.com. To find out ways to protect your family’s health against breast cancer, please log on to greencleancertified.com.