Do you have the six hidden hazards in YOUR home?

June 2012 issue of Consumer Reports Canada lists six hidden hazards in your home as:

  • household cleaners
  • old lead-based paint
  • invisible killers: carbon monoxide and radon
  • combustion of particles or gases
  • interior mold
  • air fresheners, candles and incense

Here are some of the highlights I got from the article.

Most cleaning products are not safe, including some “green” labels. For your own DIY cleaner, mix 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 quart of water. Clean toilets with baking soda or vinegar and a brush. Baking soda can help get rid of odors on rugs or carpets. Sprinkle it on, wait 15 minutes and then vacuum.

Lead-based paint is the most significant source of lead poisoning in the US, found in older homes. Have a paint chip analysis done by a professional to be sure. Lead paint is extremely dangerous for children. Have an EPA-certified painter remove it.

Radon and carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled or seen, but both are deadly. Radon comes from the earth beneath your home, and is the leading cause of lung cancer. The only way to know you have them is to test for them. Install a carbon monoxide sensor, and make sure it has new batteries. Test for Radon. (Note:  I’m not sure exactly how you test for Radon.  If someone knows, let us know.)

Don’t let anybody smoke in your home. Clean your chimneys each year.

To me, this next one is one of the worst and insidious items on the list.  Mold and bacteria can spread from a home humidifier, bathroom exhaust fans, and even clogged gutters where the water seeps into the house. (Note:  Although Consumer Reports suggest treating small areas with a solution of 1 part bleach with 16 parts water, eye mask and respirator, we suggest that an Ozone generator is very safe, effective, and more efficient for larger areas.)

Air Fresheners are extremely dangerous because they contain phthalates which are linked to cancer and reproductive problems plus tons more. Even though manufacturers are cleaning up their products, we still can’t trust them, so get rid of all air fresheners in your home. Scented candles can trigger asthma attacks and allergies. Get rid of them too and watch your health improve.

Have fun cleaning up the Six hazards!

The Cleaning Lady


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