When most people think of the word “dangerous” probably the
last thing that comes to our mind is linking that word with our homes.
Most of us feel that we are at our safest when we’re in our homes
— but are we? Would it surprise you to know that quite a lot of
the danger is “hidden” in plain view? Things we take for granted
and don’t even give a second thought to could be the very things
that make us sick. Ordinary, everyday things like carpets or pressed wood
paneling have hidden dangers in them that are very real. Below is a list
of 5 possibly dangerous items that most people have in their homes right now.
Who doesn’t like wall-to-wall carpeting? It gives a room a luxurious
look and makes it feel warm and inviting. Unfortunately because of the
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) linked to new carpet installations,
it can present a danger to a person’s health. The dyes and glues
that emit the VOC’s from the carpet can often cause health problems.
Research is ongoing to find out exactly what chemicals are being released
by carpets and whether the danger from them is serious or not.
Pressed Wood Paneling
This pressed wood was very popular in the 1970’s and could be seen
in a lot of rec rooms and even kitchens. It was made from bits and pieces
of logs and other wood that were squeezed together under pressure. The
problem comes from the glue that holds all the pieces together. The glue
is a resin that has urea-formaldehyde in it. This is a health danger to
both people and animals. If you live in an older home with this paneling
in it, using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help offset any outgassing.
Many of us have laser printers in our homes. Who would think they could
pose a health problem? Research has been done that confirms that laser
and inkjet printers can release dangerous chemicals such as VOC’s,
ozone and particulates into the air. Some links between lung and heart
disease have also been found. For your health’s sake you should
check the emission rate on your next printer before you buy.
Yes, something as innocent looking as a baby bottle can pose health risks.
The reason? Most bottles are made from polycarbonate plastics. These plastics
are made with a chemical called bisphenol-a (BPA). When the bottle is
heated the BPA is released. BPA is known as a “hormone disruptor”
and could cause development and neurological problems for infants.
Air Fresheners and Cleaning Mixtures
When these products are used in excess or in an unventilated room they
can release toxic levels of chemicals called ethers and terpenes. Together
they form a dangerous combination. Air fresheners are linked to many VOC’s
so use them with care. The best way to avoid problems is to keep the air
in your home circulating.