Home is where our heart is. It’s our haven, a place we can spend time with our family and relax. It’s our retreat after a long day at work. It’s the place where we sleep, enjoy family meals, and unwind. And while we may have a sophisticated alarm system that protects us from intruders, sometimes the real danger is already lurking within.
Many of us are unaware of the everyday health hazards hidden right in our home. These culprits can have a real impact on your health and quality of life. They can adversely affect your children and even your pets. It’s time to do a clean sweep to rid your home of these unwanted health hazards.
US Family Health Plan is a company that takes your health and your family’s health seriously. So here 5 things to look out for that may be causing health problems in your home.
- Carbon Monoxide. Carbon monoxide literally causes over 15,000 hospitalizations a year, and even some fatalities. As an odorless gas, its it often goes undetected until the damage is done. Carbon monoxide can be released by leaky furnaces, improperly functioning fireplaces or even gas water heaters. The only way to reduce your risk of exposure to this dangerous gas is to have proper carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout the home, and to schedule regular maintenance for any heating appliance of equipment installed in your home.
- Pesticides. Pesticides are meant to kill the pests – insects, rodents, and weeds—but sometimes a good plan can backfire. Pesticides can also affect the health of humans and pets, because of the fact they are poisons. Many of us hire companies to spray pesticides both in and outside our home on a regular basis. But when inhaled by humans, they can cause nausea, muscular pain weakness and headaches. Replacing chemicals with natural repellants for insects or just using old fashioned mouse traps, can go a long way to creating a healthier home environment.
- Mold. Most of us have heard that mold in the home can be hazardous. Mold spores and find lodging on wet surfaces where they can quickly grow and multiply. Mold can cause asthma, allergic reactions or even infections. You can reduce the presence of mold in the home by keeping kitchen and bathroom counters dry, quickly repairing any water leaks, and ensuring your home is ventilated to reduce excess moisture in the air.
- Kitchen Sponges. The purpose of the kitchen sponge is to help keep the home and the dishes clean. But when the sponge is used and dirty, the opposite is true. Your sponge literally become a bacterial breeding ground. Before you know it, bacteria spreads right onto to your kitchen counters, on your dishes and then, right into your food and water. Replace sponges often. After one or two uses, microwave the sponge for one minute using it, to reduce as much bacteria as possible.
- Household Cleaners. Many popular everyday household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Once these compounds are absorbed by the skin or inhaled, they can cause health problems such as a sore throat, headache and eye irritation. Mixing household cleaners is even a worse idea because it can lead to the creation of highly toxic fumes that have the ability to make you dizzy or even cause unconsciousness. Replace these not so healthy cleaners with simpler formulas that work just as well, such as a mixture of vinegar, water and lemon.
Even though it may be difficult to make a clean sweep of your home for these hidden hazards, it will be worth it in terms of you and your family’s health. US Health Plan – a TRICARE Prime health program – believes in keeping a healthy and safe home environment.