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Household Pollutants that are Hazardous to Your Health

You recognize the importance of eating clean food and drinking clean water, but breathing clean air is equally vital to your health. After all, you inhale thousands of gallons of air each day, so it’s no surprise that the contents of that air can have a significant effect.

If you’re like most people, you spend 90 percent or more of your time indoors. As a result, you can’t overlook the importance of good indoor air quality. Consider the pollutants that contaminate indoor air and how they affect your health.

Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that rises from the soil beneath your home as uranium breaks down. You can’t see, smell or taste it, but as the second-leading cause of lung cancer, radon is undoubtedly a serious matter.

Homes all around the country are affected by radon gas. It enters your home by seeping through the cracks in your foundation. As a result, basements tend to have higher concentrations than the upper floors.

The only way to detect radon is with a special home test kit. If the levels are high, you can take steps to vent rising radon to the outside where it disperses harmlessly into the air.

Mold

Mold spores are a form of biological contamination that can cause allergic reactions, worsened asthma symptoms and respiratory infections. Toxic black mold can cause even more severe symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, lung hemorrhaging and mental impairment.

Mold prefers to grow on dark, damp surfaces with ample organic material on which to feed. Because of this, basements and bathrooms are particularly susceptible to harboring mold growth.

The best way to prevent mold in your home is to control moisture. By maintaining lower humidity levels and fixing leaky pipes and roofs, you deny mold a fundamental ingredient it needs to grow.

Carbon Monoxide

This dangerous gas is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. If you use appliances that run on natural gas, oil, propane, charcoal or wood, you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

At low concentrations, CO gas causes fatigue and flu-like symptoms. People with heart conditions may also experience chest pain. Once CO reaches moderate to high levels, symptoms develop into vision impairment, reduced brain activity, shortness of breath and even death.

To protect yourself and your family, vent combustion appliances properly. Also, install CO detectors near gas-burning appliances, and evacuate immediately if the alarm sounds.

Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs are chemicals emitted by common household objects. The most common symptoms of VOC exposure include headaches, throat irritation and nausea. Some volatile organic compounds also cause cancer or damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system. You can reduce the concentration of VOCs in your home by purchasing low- or no-VOC paints, cleaners, aerosols, cosmetics, air fresheners and textiles.

Take steps to improve your indoor air quality today. If you spot mold growth, or you need assistance recovering from a flood or fire, please contact DKI Services. Our remediation work will help restore healthy indoor air.