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hidden dangers in your home

These two forms of bacteria can affect the intestinal tract, causing symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening dehydration. Humans are most often infected with salmonella after eating or handling contaminated raw foods, such as beef, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Salmonella contamination can occur during harvesting, butchering, or preparation. E. coli infection may occur when you accidentally eat contaminated foods that weren’t properly cooked or cleaned.

Mold
Mold can lurk anywhere especially in those rooms that tend to harbor moisture and humidity such as bathrooms and basements. Mold can cause serious health problems such as allergies and asthma, and when present in a building too long, can cause “sick building syndrome.” The best thing to do is to try to prevent mold from forming by eliminating the moisture in the air. In the bathroom always run a fan or turn on the overhead vent to keep the room as dry as possible.

If needed purchase a dehumidifier and keep one in the basement. Check for leaks in plumbing, air ducts and in the roof. Even the smallest amount of water can cause mold to form and grow in the most unexpected of places. You may want to hire a professional to check your roof and ducts regularly. Bleach kills and prevents the growth of mold spores, so should you see mold start to grow inside your home, in your bathroom or basement, you can easily treat it yourself.

Water
Despite the Clean Water Act, toxins still infiltrate our water systems with everything from discarded pharmaceuticals to radioactive toxins! Older homes may have lead based pipes. The solution to this is not all that difficult. A water filtration system can be added to your water tank or your faucet. You can purchase free-standing models or a pitcher for your refrigerator. Another way to rid the toxins from your water is to run your faucet for 1 minute prior to using the water. The EPA suggests that you flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for cooking and drinking. The longer your water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain. They also suggest to flush your cold water pipes if your faucet has not been used for six hours or longer. While we want to rid our water of these chemicals and toxins, we still need to conserve our water.

Showering, running the dishwasher or the washing machine will also flush the pipes. After this type of heavy water use, make sure you also flush the tap that you will use for drinking or cooking by running the water to clear the rest of the home plumbing to that tap. Furthermore it is important to use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula as hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. If you opt to use bottled water for drinking water, it is important that you also increase your fluoride intake. Tap water is high in fluoride while bottled water has none. Among children who drank mostly or predominantly bottled water, there was a significant increase in tooth decay compared to those children who drank filtered tap water.

Carpet
Not only can carpets be a tripping hazard, when not properly tacked down, but they are saturated with chemicals. I bet you never really paid attention to that. Carpets are also havens to dust mites, dander and dirt. It’s important to clean your carpet regularly with a high efficiency vacuum or have it professionally cleaned by an environmentally-friendly cleaning service to ensure that no additional chemicals and toxins are deposited onto your rug. If you plan on replacing your old carpeting, think about replacing it with one made from natural fibers and toxin-free glue. Hardwood floors are a better option but they are not ideal for families with the very young or the elderly.