Sunday, February 10, 2013

Household Hazardous Materials

It is almost impossible to to believe that our house could contain potentially hazardous organisms and materials especially considering the level of cleanliness that we maintain. Sometimes, the most dangerous things around us are the ones we can’t see. Here are five potentially harmful problems that threaten a healthy home and tips on how to protect against them.

1. Salmonella & E. Coli
These two forms of bacteria infect the intestinal tract and cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening dehydration. Most common mode of infection with these organisms in humans is by eating or handling contaminated raw foods, such as beef, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Salmonella can contaminate the food during butchering, harvesting, or preparation. Infection with E. coli occurs when one accidentally eats contaminated foods that were not cooked or cleaned properly.
Solution to Salmonella & E.Coli Problem:
Wash your hands properly before handling the food. Use two separate cutting boards for fruits/vegetables and for raw meat. Raw meat, seafood, and poultry should be kept separately from other refrigerated foods. Clean with hot soapy water all utensils and plates that previously held raw meat before using again. Cook all meats, especially pork and poultry, to safe temperatures.

2. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide is a flavorless and odorless gas that gives no warning before it can make you very sick (think flu-like symptoms) or even kill you. This “silent” killer kills approximately 500 people every year. Contamination usually occurs when an organic fuel is burned without proper ventilation. Common sources of carbon monoxide include kerosene and gas space heaters, gas water heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, automobile exhaust, and tobacco smoke.
Solution to Carbon Monoxide
Have your heating system, water heater, and other coal, oil, or gas appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Carbon monoxide detector should be installed in your home. Never heat your house with a gas oven or use a gasoline-powered or coal-burning device inside your home.

3. Lead
Serious health problems such as measurable changes in mental development and behavior, nerve disorders and other ailments have been associated with exposure to this highly toxic metal. Since 1978 lead has been minimized or eliminated from consumer products by regulatory standards but it still remains in homes and other places. The major sources of lead exposure include lead-based paints in older homes, household dust, drinking water (if you have lead pipes), and contaminated soil.
Solution to Lead in the House
You must test your home and water for presence of lead, especially if its structure was built before 1978. Presence of lead can be tested by using a home lead test kit, by consultation with an environmental laboratory or organization, or by hiring a licensed risk assessor. Lead paint can be removed by a certified lead paint removal company. Hot tap water from lead pipes should never be used for drinking or making baby formula as hot water causes more lead to seep from the pipes. Most importantly get your child tested for lead.

4. Mold
Removing Mold
Molds are microscopic living organisms, which grow where moisture, oxygen, and organic materials are present. Mold can be easily spotted (unless it is under carpets or in walls) except the tiny spores in the air. Exposure to their spores can cause nasal and sinus congestion, chronic cough, and eye irritation. They may also trigger asthma attacks and lung infections among individuals with chronic respiratory disease. Molds can be found in practically any damp area in your house with poor ventilation.
Solution to Mold in the House
Mold should be removed with a non-ammonia cleaner or dishwashing soap and water. Protect yourself, while removing mold by wearing gloves, long sleeves, pants, eye protectors, and a respirator. After cleaning the mold from floors remaining mold spores in the air should be cleaned with the help of  a HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) vacuum or air cleaner. For large areas, hire a professional cleaner. Discard carpet, drywall, insulation, and other items if they have been wet for more than two days.

5. Pesticides
Few of the pesticides that could be in your home include insect repellent  weed killers, flea and tick shampoo, roach sprays and baits.  Other “hidden” dangerous chemicals can be found in products such as mothballs, wallpaper, and pressure treated wood. Pesticides can be dangerous to your health if used in the wrong way or stored improperly. Pesticides can  cause nerve damage, breathing problems, and more. One of the leading causes of childhood poisonings are household pesticides.
Solution to Pesticides
Always read and follow instructions on the label before using pesticides.  All household pesticides must be kept locked in a cabinet and out of reach of children. Avoid direct exposure while using pesticides, and never eat or drink around them. Wash your hands thoroughly after working with a pesticide.

Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...