Mold & Mildew
Molds and mildew can grow in damp, dark places. Molds and mildew have been known to cause lung problems; posing particular danger for people who have allergies or asthma. One way you can prevent the growth of these substances in your home is by controlling humidity.
Control moisture. Installing a humidistat is recommended if you will be away for the summer months.
Use an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom. If exhaust fans are not installed in your kitchen and/or bathroom, the installation of these is recommended.
Fix plumbing leaks before mold grows. If you suspect the presence of plumbing leaks, have a licensed, qualified plumber make further evaluations and repairs to the situation to prevent worsened conditions.
Bark contains millions of mold spores so do not store firewood inside your home.
Unwanted chemicals can enter the air in your home when you paint, use cleaning products, install pressed wood, install new carpets and use new fabrics. These chemicals can irritate your eyes, throat, and nose. High levels can give you a headache or make you feel dizzy.
Keep fresh air moving through your home, especially if you are or have recently performed one of the above tasks that increase the level of chemicals in your home.
Read the label. Some chemicals should only be used in well-vented spaces. The label may tell you if the chemicals can cause cancer or other health problems. Use the safest, most efficient products with the fewest warnings.
Asbestos can be used in certain types of heating insulation, pipe wrap, floor tiles, slate siding and shingles, and ceiling tiles. When damaged, Asbestos is harmful and fibers enter the air. Breathing air containing asbestos fibers can increase your risk of lung cancer over several years.
If you think you may have asbestos in your home, contact a certified asbestos inspector or your local public health department to find out what actions are needed.
Don’t try to remove asbestos by yourself. Only trained professionals should do this work.
You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. For info on how to protect your family, click the following link: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html
Asthma causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. This is an increasing danger and in most areas, thousands of children are hospitalized yearly with asthma. Pets, molds, pollen, and cockroaches can trigger asthma. Smoke, chemicals, ozone, and exhaust fumes can also trigger asthma.
If a person with asthma is allergic to cats or dogs, the pet may need to be removed from the home. At least keep pets out of the person’s bedroom.
Consider adding a high efficiency air filter to your heating system.
Control humidity. Keep the humidity below 65% and fix moisture problems. This will reduce dust mites, molds and mildew.
Reduce air pollutants like smoke, solvents, and pollen in your home.
Get rid of cockroaches by carefully cleaning (especially in the kitchen) and removing trash every day. Use pesticides as a last resort.
Damp mop, damp dust, and vacuum often. Use mattress and pillow covers. Remove carpets, drapes, books, stuffed animals, and feather or down pillows and covers from the bedroom. Wash bedding once a week using hot water to kill dust mites.