Your home should be your safe haven from the world, but sometimes your home can affect your health adversely. There are many types of hazards that can be in your home that you should be aware of. Many of them are in plain sight. Here are two common hazards in your home and how you can remedy them.
Asbestos was used in home construction from the 1800s until the 1970s and 1980s, when it was banned for causing serious health problems. If you live in a home that was built when asbestos was used, and your home has not been remodeled since, it may still contain asbestos. A textured "popcorn" ceiling was popular in the the middle of the 20th century. It was made by mixing asbestos and plaster, which was sprayed onto the ceiling and painted over once it was dry.
If you have a textured ceiling, you can have it tested to see if it contains asbestos. Do not try to remove any of the ceiling material yourself, because this can disturb the asbestos and put asbestos fibers into the air, where you may inhale them. Call a local asbestos abatement company so they can take a sample to have it tested professionally. And, if you do have asbestos, make sure it is removed by an asbestos clean-up company.
Asbestos is dangerous to your health when you breathe in its fibers. Once you have inhaled asbestos into your lungs, it can cause asbestosis, which is a scarring of your lungs that leads to breathing problems and heart failure. It can also lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer of the lining of your chest and abdomen. Asbestos can also cause cancer of the stomach, rectum, and intestines.
If you are considering installing new carpeting in your home, consider the chemicals the new carpet may bring into your home and plan accordingly. New carpeting and padding glue can contain chemicals made from volatile organic compounds, or VOCs that give off odors and pollutants.
You can still have a carpeted home despite these risks. Shop around and request carpeting and padding that releases fewer VOCs. Then, ask that the carpeting company if they can unroll the carpeting in their warehouse at least 72 hours before they install it in your home. This will give the carpeting time to air out and release much of its VOCs. If this is not an option, have the carpeting installed while you are away from home, and open the windows to air out your home for at least 72 hours.
Studies have linked the wheezing and coughing of babies in the first year of their life with installation of new carpet containing VOCs. Exposure to VOCs can also lead to headaches, dizziness, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and worsening of asthma symptoms. Long term exposure to VOCs can lead to an increased risk of cancer and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.
Keep these risks in mind if you get new carpeting or have a textured ceiling in your home. Contact a company like IRS Environmental of WA Inc. for more information.