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Home is where the heart is, but it can also be a dangerous environment. To educate and keep you safe in your surroundings, let’s examine some lesser known hazards that can cause serious health issues in your home.

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The situation in Flint, MI is extreme, but lead in water is not rare. Up to 20% of exposure comes from drinking water tainted by contaminated pipes. Ask your water authority to test your pipes and repair them if necessary. Something you can do – install a faucet filter. Also, older homes may contain lead paint. A DIY test can detect lead, but you’ll need a professional to remove it.

This invisible gas is a silent killer. Make sure you have a CO alarm on each floor of your home. Before each season change – spring and fall, check the units to verify that they are functioning properly.

This gas is naturally invisible, odorless and tasteless. Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. One in 15 homes in America is at risk from elevated levels of radon. Test every three years, especially if you have made energy efficient improvements. A tightly sealed home increases your risk. DIY kits are simple and inexpensive. Test kits are available at hardware stores or online. A certified radon testing professional is always an option.

Mold is bad for the respiratory and immune systems. Many times, mold is growing in places where you cannot see it, such as behind walls. Test every three to five years. Options include a DIY kit or hiring of a professional mold specialist.

These microscopic critters, which are found in carpeting, curtains, upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding, can aggravate asthma and allergies. Mites feed on organic detritus, such as flakes of shed human skin and can flourish in the warm and humid environment of homes. Eliminating mites is almost impossible, but washing bedding once a week, replacing wall to wall carpeting, using a damp mop to remove dust and vacuuming with a HEPA filter can reduce the number of them and their corresponding negative impact in your home.

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