The world we live in is full of toxins, pathogens and other potential health hazards. It’s unfortunate, but it is a fact of life. You may think of your home as a sanctuary from the outside world, but hazards exist can find their way in there. By taking some simple precautions, however, you can maintain a healthy home environment for yourself and your family.
Air quality is an important factor in good health, and just because you close the door behind you when you come home does not mean potentially contaminated air can’t creep into the house. Here are some tips to help you breathe easier:
- Inspect your home’s ventilation system every spring to ensure it is good repair. Change the filter annually and keep the vents clean.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially near appliances and fireplaces.
- Have your home tested for radon, especially if your home has a finished basement.
- Do not smoke and do not allow others to smoke inside.
Depending on where you live, your water supply may be at risk for a number of different contaminants. Being aware of the risks that exist in your local area is important, as is taking steps to keep the water you drink clean and healthy. Some examples include:
- Test well water for bacteria and nitrates. E. coli for example can live in well water and cause infection, so have your well treated at the first sign.
- If you have lead pipes in your home, have them replaced. Lead is a neurotoxin that can build up and poison you over time.
- Use a purification system to cleanse your water of chlorine, heavy metals, nitrates, and other potential contaminants that may have run into the local water table.
Keep It Clean
Finally, the most basic way to ensure you have a healthy home is to practice good hygiene and cleaning habits:
- Disinfect bathroom and kitchen surfaces to prevent bacterial growth.
- Vacuum regularly to prevent dust and allergen buildup.
- Wash dishes and utensils after use, especially after contact with raw food.
- Wash linens weekly in hot water to kill microbes and prevent the spread of disease.
- As always, the most important of all: wash your hands, and encourage children to do the same.
Simple, careful practices like these will make a positive impact on your health and that of your family.