Sparkle & Smile

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Healthy Home Uncategorized

Harmful Toxins that Live in Your Home

September 22, 2011

Believe it or not, you may have harmful toxins living in your home.

According to Ross Ann Soloway, Administrator of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, "toxins in U.S. homes account for 90 percent of all reported poisonings each year.  Although these figures include everything from non-fatal aspirin overdoses to the deadly consumption of drain cleaners, they fail to include long-term exposure to toxins like lead and asbestos."

To address the household toxin issue, the Centers for Disease Control focuses on the health dangers of consumer goods and modern home living.  The EPA also looks at home indoor air quality, lead exposure and ubiquitous low-level toxicity.

Here are a few toxins that may be lurking in your home:

Formaldehyde evaporates from cushions, particleboard and adhesives from wood-based products. Carpets and carpet cushions may also offgas formaldehyde, causing eye and upper respiratory irritation. According to the EPA, formaldehyde may even cause cancer.

According to the Surgeon General, Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a natural radioactive gas that seeps into homes through cracks in the basement, the surrounding foundation and in well water. It enters the body through the airways.

Lead levels that were once acceptable are now known contributors to learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Lead is found in paint in older houses and old plumbing.

The biggest culprit of Carbon monoxide is the unserviced furnace burning propane, butane or oil.  

Arsenic is still found in many household pesticides, and is also used as a wood preservative. According to the CDC, arsenic can cause lung cancer.

Vinyl chloride, the plastic interior of a new car (better known as the "new car smell"), is a known carcinogen.  Very large exposures can lead to "vinyl chloride disease," which causes severe liver damage and ballooning of the fingertips.

According to Soloway, Hydrofluoric acid (found in rust removers), "can cause intense pain and damage to tissues and bone if the recommended gloves happen to have holes in them." 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are composed of a variety of natural and man-made, carbon-based agents. They react quickly with other carbon-based compounds, and evaporate easily, making them ideal solvents.

Replace your household cleaners with non-toxic ones, and teach your family about the dangers of toxic chemicals. 

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to

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