(This post is brought to you by Maxx AC & Heating.)
Your home is meant to be a safe haven where you can escape the hazards and discomforts of the outside world. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many health hazards can linger inside your house, causing everything from recurring headaches to an increased risk of cancer. Watch out for these subtle threats and take action to make your home as healthy as possible.
This one is so common in our modern world that it’s often overlooked. Any sound over 70 dB can potentially be defined as noise pollution. If you’re exposed to noises of 80 dB or more for a stretch of at least eight hours at a time, these conditions might be hazardous to your health. According to information from Environmental Pollution Centers, noise pollution can cause hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances, and even hearing loss. Exposure to this type of noise can also hinder physical and psychological development in children.
Take action: Wear earplugs around particularly loud noises. Keep your home quiet and, if possible, choose a house that’s well-removed from heavy traffic. Ironically, even when it’s quiet outside you can create your own noise pollution. Be careful when using earphones and keep the volume down.
Light pollution is excessive or inappropriate use of artificial light. This can occur both inside and outside your house. Exposure to artificial light at night disrupts your body’s natural rhythms. In addition to robbing you of a good night’s sleep, it might even increase your risk for depression, diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer.
Take action: Keep artificial lights to a minimum in your home, especially at night. If you have bright street lights outside your house, use blackout drapes to block the disruption.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Many seemingly harmless products that you bring into your home off-gas potentially hazardous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cleaning products and air fresheners meant to make your home more comfortable can contain VOCs that can cause headaches and nausea. They may also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation and even cancer.
Many new products, such as carpeting, composite wood, upholstery, and vinyl flooring, release VOCs after installation.
Take action: Be mindful of what you bring into your home. Use natural cleaning products and look for low-VOC or no-VOC items.
Visible mold is an obvious hazard, but mold growth often goes unseen. Peeling paint or discoloration on the walls and ceiling might indicate hidden mold growth. Mold can cause chronic coughs, rashes, and headaches.
Contact a professional if you can’t reach the problem yourself. You should eliminate mold as quickly as possible. Use an air purifier to capture airborne spores that might linger even after the initial growth is taken care of.
Take action: Be mindful when cooking, showering, and completing other activities that release moisture. Always turn on an exhaust fan that vents to the outside while performing these tasks.
Taking a mindful approach to your home and the potential hazards there will help you identify and eliminate many subtle dangers. With a careful analysis of your space and a smart, proactive plan, you can make sure your home is the healthy retreat you want it to be.