Keep Your Home Clean for Your Family's Health
One of the most important ways to protect our children's health is to prevent their unnecessary exposure to toxins. Children are far more sensitive to low concentrations of toxic chemicals because of their developing organs and high metabolism. Here are some ways you can reduce exposure in your home:
- Clean the air. Avoid cigarette smoke. Don't smoke or allow others to smoke in your home. From ear infections to cancer, cigarette smoke can cause serious health problems.
- Check your basement for radon, particularly if your kids spend a lot of time there. You can buy an EPA approved radon test kit from most hardware stores.
- If you have a wood stove or a lot of fuel burning appliances, get a carbon monoxide alarm for your home. Always make sure your kitchen is properly ventilated if you have a gas stove.
- Protect from Lead. Have an expert check your home for lead paint. You may think lead is not a problem in your home, but if your house is more than 25 years old and hasn't been checked, lead paint could still be a problem. Also get expert help if you are planning any home repairs or improvements where old layers of lead paint will be uncovered.
- Old pipes can leach lead into your water. Have your water tested and apply a filter if you have lead in your water. If you are worried about your child's lead levels ask their doctor to have it analyzed the next time they get a blood test.
- Protect from chemicals. Avoid pesticides as much as possible, especially if you have young children. If you are using pesticides, use only in ventilated areas and follow all instructions. Keep in mind that manufacturers are typically allowed to sell their stocks of pesticides even if they have been banned due to health risks. Diazinon and chlorpyrifos are two examples of banned pesticides that you might still own or which may still be sold in stores.
- Avoid products with formaldehyde, like pressed wood and carpets. If you have brought something containing formaldehyde into your home make sure the area is well ventilated.
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