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Whether you are trying to live a natural, organic lifestyle or you have a family that you want to keep safe, your home environment is where you spend the most time so you need to know that it is safe. For most people the question of how safe is my house just comes up when you are buying a new home or adding a new family member. Regardless of your reason, it is important you know some facts and are aware of some of the potential problems. As we see more people around us dealing with cancer and other heath problems, environmental concerns are growing issue for everyone.
It is unrealistic to expect any home, even a green-built home, will be totally free from environmental issues. Substances such as radon, mold, pesticides and lead are changing the way home are built but there is the science is still evolving and there are still millions of existing homes that are may have issues.
As a homeowner or buyer, you should be aware of the potentials problem areas before you enter into a legal contract. As our knowledge of the effect of environment on our health evolves, the body of laws governing potentially harmful environmental hazards and their effect on real estate transactions is also evolving. The rights and responsibilities of buyers and sellers are changing base on these laws.
Potential environmental issues may exist inside or outside your home. Hazards outside the home are usually not as critical since the air outside your home is constantly changing. This may not be the case inside your home. As home get more and more energy efficient, they typically reduce the amount of fresh air that is exchanged between the inside and outside. For air-born hazards, this compounds the problem.
Here is a list of seven potential air-borne or chemical residue hazards that could be present in your home:
Children and adult can get lead poisoning from the air, lead in plumbing and older lead-based paints. When lead is ingested, it accumulates in the blood, bones, and soft tissue of the body. High concentrations in the body can cause death or permanent damage to the central nervous system, the brain, the kidneys, and red blood cells.
Every home has mold but most mold is not hazardous. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the best way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
Asbestos is a fibrous material that has been identified as a carcinogen. Because of its complex shape, asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs. Because the material is durable, it persists in tissue and concentrates as repeated exposures occur over time. It can cause cancer of the lungs and stomach.
Radon is an invisible gas that is emitted from the soil and can enter a house though the lowest floor. The only way to know if a home has a radon problem is to test it. Radon levels vary from house to house depending on the type of construction and the soil surrounding it. There are several ways to make a preliminary screening for radon.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that is generally present at low concentrations in both indoor and outdoor air. It is emitted by many construction materials and consumer-based products that contain formaldehyde based glues, resins, preservatives, and bonding agents. Formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals.
Herbicides and Pesticides
The use of herbicides and pesticides outside the home can result in high levels of these toxic chemicals inside the home. These chemicals are design to kill. These water-soluble chemicals are design to be eventually be eliminated by rain and natural weather but once they are tracked into your home on your shoes and cloths, they can stay there a long time.
In some rare situation, an existing home (especially rental properties) may have been exposed to drug residue like methamphetamines. If a house has been used as a ?meth lab?, it may be impossible to decontaminate the property. The authors of these articles make no warranty, or representation (express or implied) with respect to the usefulness, completeness or effectiveness of this information, nor do they assume any liability for the use of, of any information, method, or process disclosed in this material.Fresh content is added daily to the site so check back to get more DIY and home renovation advice.